The AP has reported that Stolt-Nielsen SA is buying three used tanker ships for about $40 million.
The company said its wholly owned subsidiary, Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group, has exercised an option to purchase the tankers, currently on charter, from Montana Ship Holding AS.
According to Stolt-Nielsen, it chartered the ships in December 2001 with an option to buy at any time.
The company said the three ships are to be converted at a cost of $7.5 million to meet new safety regulations that will take effect Jan. 1 next year.
Stolt-Nielsen said it anticipates the ships will allow it take advantage of growth prospects for the parcel tanker market. It also said the used vessels will
help it save money since the cost of shipbuilding is at historic highs.
American depositary shares of Stolt-Nielsen fell 55 cents to $31.20 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.