March 16 - NileDutch has acquired SafmarineMPV's Europe to West Africa services and operations.

After selling its fleet of five ships to Thorco Shipping in November 2015, SafmarineMPV sold its South Africa - West Africa multipurpose service to Cape Town based Fairseas International and withdrew itself from the West Africa - US Gulf trade in early January 2016, leaving it operational only in the trade between Europe and West Africa.

Jorg Knuttel, managing director of SafmarineMPV, said that the NileDutch acquisition marks the "complete divestment" of the multipurpose vessel operator, which is owned by Maersk Line.

"For years Safmarine MPV has demonstrated that breakbulk and containers is a strong combination, hence this acquisition is a natural fit," he added.

NileDutch's chief operating officer, Jan Willem de Braal, commented: "With so many infrastructure projects underway in especially West Africa, this multipurpose offering gives NileDutch a real edge and will allow us to seize more business opportunities in the fields of energy equipment, infrastructure, mining and agriculture."

The operations of Safmarine MPV's Europe to West Africa services will continue as NileDutch MPV, with the first sailing commencing in April of this year.

NileDutch MPV will focus on the carriage of containers, breakbulk, project and oil and gas related cargoes.