Clarksons buying rival Platou for $440 million

Clarksons buying rival Platou for $440 million

Clarksons, the world’s largest shipbroker, is paying £281.2 million [US $440 million] for its Oslo-based rival RS Platou, in a record deal likely to accelerate consolidation in the sector.

The London-based firm said it has secured support from 75 percent of Platou’s shareholders for the takeover. The deal will create a ship broking and investment group employing 1,400 people in 21 countries, and with annual revenue of about £330 million.

“Strategically the combination of Clarksons and RS Platou is compelling as they are highly complementary with little overlap and combine two teams with similar culture, experience and vision,” Clarksons CEO Andi Case said.

Clarksons’ offer consists of 75 percent in shares, 16.66 percent in loan notes and 8.35 percent in cash.

The deal, which is subject to approval by Clarksons shareholders, is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2015.

The merger of London-listed Clarksons and Platou is the latest consolidation in a ship broking sector beset by declining fees and fewer deals in a flat shipping market as ship-owners increasingly cut out the middleman.

London brokers ICAP and Howe Robinson are reportedly mulling a merger as they seek to keep pace with moves by city rivals to join forces.  In July, Braemar Shipping Services acquired ACM Shipping for around £55 million.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.