Inchcape buys Furness, firms up Exxon links
U.K.-based Inchcape Shipping Services has acquired the British shipping agent Furness Marine Services Ltd., representing the latest move to develop its port agency activities for oil majors.
Terms of the acquisition of Furness were not disclosed.
Furness Marine Services had its origins in the management buyout of Furness Withy Agency in 1993, including a contract with oil and gas major Esso dating back to 1985.
Last year, Inchcape won a global agency contract with Esso’s parent ExxonMobil and, following this latest acquisition, the Esso agreement will effectively integrate into the global agency arranged with its parent.
The acquisition of Furness Marine Services is Inchcape’s latest move into non-liner shipping agency activities.
“In 1990, 92 percent of our business was liner; today almost all of it is non-liner,” said Simon Morse, chief executive of Inchcape. In the United States, Inchcape’s 20-port operation arose from four regional liner agency acquisitions. “But now none of it is liner,” Morse said.
The company also handles all the non-liner port agency business of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group. Inchcape Shipping Services has 200 offices worldwide and annual revenues of $220 million. Its agencies handle more than 50,000 ship calls a year.