Aegean Marine Petroleum announced Monday it is buying Verbeke Bunkering, which supplies bunker fuel in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam region, the world's second largest bunkering market.
The acquisition is expected to give Aegean a much larger share of the market.
Aegean did not disclose the acquisition price, but the deal is expected to close after the completion of detailed documentation by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
Verbeke’s operations consist of 18 bunkering tankers, of which nine are owned (two minority-owned) and nine are chartered-in as well as one new tanker scheduled for delivery in 2010 in which it has a 50 percent interest.
Verbeke’s bunker fuel volume represents over half of Aegean’s 2009 volume. Aegean said that Verbeke’s 2009 volume is estimated at 3.5 million tons.
Aegean’s 2009 volume is forecast at 6.2 million tons by Dahlman Rose, a New York investment bank, which said it expects the acquisition will be “transformative” for Aegean.
Dahlman Rose said in an investment note Tuesday that it expects to see Aegean make further acquisitions later this year. It said Aegean has grown aggressively since going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2008, and the acquisition of Verbeke is likely to be the first of a series of such transactions in 2010.
Dahlman Rose expects Aegean’s earnings to grow this year “in view of increased tanker demand in 2010, as well as strong dry bulk activity and steadily improving container volumes.”
Piraeus-based Aegean currently operates in 14 markets globally, including Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, West Africa, Gibraltar, UK, Northern Europe, Piraeus, Patras, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Tangiers, Morocco.
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