October 19 - Grieg Star and Gearbulk have confirmed that they intend to enter into a joint venture to combine the companies' resources and expertise, as well as their combined fleet of open hatch, semi open hatch and conventional bulk vessels.

The JV will be jointly controlled by both parties, with Gearbulk owning 65 percent and Grieg Star taking on 35 percent. The board of directors will comprise five members - three appointed by Gearbulk and two by Grieg Star. Gearbulk chairman and ceo Kristian Jebsen will chair the board.
The name of the JV is yet to be decided, but it will be established as an independent Norwegian company headquartered in Bergen, with its own offices around the world. Rune Birkeland will become ceo of the new venture, while Arthur English takes on the position of chief commercial officer.
Subject to completion of final agreements, corporate authorisations and the relevant regulatory approvals, the JV is expected to become fully operational in the first half of 2017.
The total number of vessels operated by the joint venture will be over 130. The two companies will retain their independent technical ship management and ownership of the vessels.
"In an increasingly competitive market, we believe this new entity will have the size to build and sustain a versatile and independent shipping service," said Grieg Star ceo Camilla Grieg.