FINLAND-based door-to-door short-sea operator Containerships Group
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."