P&O GROUP BUYS OUT SHOUGANG IN BULK VENTURE
U.K.-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. has bought the 50-percent share held by the Chinese group Shougang in the bulk shipping joint venture Associated Bulk Carriers Ltd.
P&O said that it will now control 100 percent of ABC and intends to make an initial public offering of the company on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
Preparations for the IPO are already underway and the operation is scheduled to take place later this year, the British shipping group said.
ABC operates a large fleet of capesize bulk carriers totaling some 3.5m deadweight tons.
P&O said that ABC made an operating loss of $46 million in 1999, when average daily capesize freight rates were approximately $10,000. However, freight rates currently stand at over $20,000 per day, it added.