EAST ASIATIC TO GET MAJORITY SHARE IN THE JOHNSON SCANSTAR SERVICE

EAST ASIATIC TO GET MAJORITY SHARE IN THE JOHNSON SCANSTAR SERVICE

Johnson Line AB said the East Asiatic Co. will acquire a majority share in the Johnson ScanStar Service, which operates between the U.S. West Coast and Europe.

Beginning approximately Aug. 1, EAC will hold a 5/9 share in Johnson ScanStar, Johnson Line will own a 2/9 share, and Blue Star Line will own a 2/9 share. The line has been owned with a 5/9 share by Johnson Line, a 2/9 share by EAC and a 2/9 share by Blue Star Line.The baton will be shifted, said A.J. Wallace, president of Johnson ScanStar North America. They will lead the band.

The line operates a weekly service between Long Beach, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver in North America and Le Havre, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Hamburg and Gothenburg in Europe.

The joint service has nine shares because of the original ownership of vessels when it started back in 1971. At that time, Johnson owned five vessels, EAC owned two vessels and Blue Star owned two vessels. Currently, two vessels are owned by Johnson and seven ships are chartered in an arrangement that is not expected to change.

The management headquarters, which are currently in Stockholm and San Francisco, also will be shifted to EAC's Pacific Transport Division located in Pasadena, Calif., to reflect the new controlling interest

Johnson Line said it agreed to the transfer of control in order to focus on its steadily growing passenger ferry and cruising activities in Europe. Although the West Coast-Europe container trade has been strong, the line sees higher margins and a stronger future on the passenger side, Mr. Wallace said.

In liner services, Johnson Line will remain a minority member of this service and maintain three Latin American services.

EAC said the change is a further strengthening of its presence on the North American West Coast to complement its existing trans-Pacific service.

The EAC management facility in Pasadena already is responsible for EAC Lines's trans-Pacific service and additional services within Asia and between the Far East and Western Australia. The office, which employs approximately 250 people, is also responsible for EAC's North American agency organization. Johnson said there will be no layoffs as a result of the new ownership structure.