Bulk shipping giants Bocimar and Zodiac Maritime are close to forming an alliance that would control nearly a third of the world Capesize market, according to London broking sources.
Shipping sources said that although the rumors had been circulating the broking community for months, London shipbrokers had recently returned from a social event in Belgium, where Bocimar is headquartered, full of talk of an agreement.
A source close to Zodiac's London office confirmed that talks were in progress. "We've been talking to them since January, but as yet there's nothing concrete," he said.
Zodiac, part of Israeli group Ofer Brothers, declined to comment, as did Bocimar, which is part of Belgium's CMB Group.
"Yes, we've been in talks - we've been in talks for 25 years, and yes, we've been talking to Zodiac for 15 years," Managing Director Marc Saverys reportedly said.
Brokers said that an alliance between the two companies would tie up Bocimar's 40-50 Capesizes with Zodiac's 30 Capesizes. The pool of 70-80 ships would enjoy a dominant position in the world spot fleet of 200-250 vessels.