September 5 - By the first quarter of 2017, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA and Wallenius Lines AB intend to establish a new ownership structure for their jointly owned investments and majority of ships.
The parties will combine their ownership in the jointly owned entities Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (jointly owned 100 percent), Eukor Car Carriers (jointly owned 80 percent) and American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (jointly owned 100 percent) in a new entity named Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA, and list it on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
The companies have agreed to merge the ownership of their vessels, affected assets and liabilities.
"The markets in which the jointly owned entities operate are going through rapid change and require a more agile and efficient business model," said Jan Eyvin Wang, president and ceo of Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA. "In addition to establishing a common owner and governance structure, the proposed merger is expected to enable synergies between USD50-100 million by combining the assets and harvesting economies of scale, including more optimal tonnage planning, and administrative, commercial and operational efficiencies between the entities."
When the transaction is completed Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA and Wallenius Lines AB will have equal ownership in the new entity and plan to own approximately 40 percent each, with the remaining shares on the market. The final terms and ownership level will be confirmed when legal agreements and relevant approvals are granted, probably by the end of 2016, with the deal expected to close by the first quarter of 2017.
Craig Jasienski, current ceo and president of Eukor Car Carriers, will be appointed ceo for the new company. To facilitate this transition, he has been named joint ceo for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Eukor Car Carriers.
In another move, Christopher J. Connor, president and ceo of WWL since 2013, has been appointed chairman, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Land Based Holdings, the rapidly growing business, which includes port and plant-based vehicle processing for automobiles and heavy equipment, marine terminals and inland transportation.
In this capacity, he will lead a strategic review targeting accelerated growth of the company's land-based business and says, "the strategic review process will get us ready to continue that pace over the next decade."