Containerships Group Not For Sale

Thursday, April 26, 2007
FINLAND-based door-to-door short-sea operator Containerships Group has reacted to a statement issued by Russian liner operator FESCO which named the company as a purchase target and says there are no plans to sell the company to FESCO or anyone else.

Sigurjon Markusson, managing director of Containerships Group says, "Containerships Group is a Finnish company which is 65 per cent owned by Eimskip, which in turn is listed on the Icelandic Stock Exchange. The remainder of the company is owned privately in Finland. We have seen statements from FESCO in the Russian press to the effect that they intend to buy Containerships Group. I would like to emphasise that neither Containerships Group nor Eimskip have had any discussions with FESCO and we have no intention of having any discussions with them. Containerships Group is embarked on a strategic growth plan which is already delivering increased volumes across all our trades, and we intend to carry out the plan and stand as a leading independent operator in the Baltic area."

Markusson adds that the statements by FESCO may be linked to apparent harassment experienced by the Moby Dick container terminal in St Petersburg. "Container Finance, our minority partner, owns the Moby Dick terminal in St Petersburg through its Multi Link Terminals subsidiary. It is our main Russian gateway. Recently FKP, the local arm of Russian state-owned construction company Rosstroy, has been harassing the terminal by illegally closing the access roads to the terminal. We suspect that this action and perhaps the statements by FESCO could be linked as part of pressure to get the investors in what are a successful terminal and a successful line serving Russia to sell out. I would like to assure our customers that Multi Link Terminals is working hard with the Russian authorities to ensure that its legal rights to operate are not interfered with, and that cargo entrusted to Containerships Group will continue to flow freely across our network. I thank all our staff and customers for their support."

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