‘Cool’ Reefer Merger is Full Speed Ahead

Monday, August 22, 2005
NYK Reefers and LauritzenCool have now received clearance from the European Commission to merge their reefer activities. The new company, NYKLauritzenCool AB, owned on a 50/50 basis by NYK Reefers and J. Lauritzen, will become one of the world’s largest reefer shipping companies, operating more than 70 specialized reefer vessels of various sizes, in all major reefer trades.

Negotiations for the forming of a joint company have been going on since the beginning of this year when J. Lauritzen A/S and NYK Reefers agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to merge their reefer activities, following a strategic co-operation and vessel sharing agreement launched in January 2004. Discussions have been nourished by several elements, one of which is the fact that the two companies’ activities match each other as pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

“If you draw our respective trades and lines on a map, you’ll find that together they cover all major growing and consuming areas and match perfectly”, says Torben Janholt, CEO of J. Lauritzen and Mr. Yamafuji, CEO of NYK Reefers, adds, “This goes for our respective strengths in business focus and organization as well.”

NYKLauritzenCool AB will be based in Stockholm, occupying LauritzenCool AB’s former head office. NYK Reefers office in London will become branch office and continue to service their customers as earlier.

Mats Jansson, CEO, does not foresee any major organizational changes but rather minor adjustments as the merger progresses. “Our main task for the immediate future is to get our merged operations up and running at an optimum”, says Jansson. “Our client contact staff will remain the same and gradually our clients will experience an improvement in our services,” Mr. Jansson affirms. “Local and regional business relations and responsibilities will remain decentralised to our offices in major markets around the world.” Following the merger, NYK Reefers and LauritzenCool join their respective fleets and the new company will hence operate more than 70 specialised reefers of different classes between 300,000 cbft and 760,000 cbft, most of them equipped with high container capacities and modern treatment facilities such as controlled atmosphere, CA. It is the new company’s intention to actively seek innovative solutions to old and new problems, and to develop new logistics and transport concepts. “There is a fresh climate of optimism and belief in the future of this business. Everyone is aware of the fact that contemporary ideas are needed, but they can only be realized by reefer companies with financial and organisational strength such as NYK LauritzenCool,” Mr. Jansson concludes.

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