J. Lauritzen bought Cool Carriers AB for $35.4 million from Norwegian shipping group Leif Hoegh & Co. ASA, a step in consolidation of the reefer vessel market. "The acquisition will be financed through a capital injection of 215 million crowns ($25.5 million) from the parent company J. Lauritzen Holding," it said.
Reefer vessels are equipped with refrigeration facilities to transport perishable foodstuffs.
The takeover of the Swedish-based group, effective January 1, 2001, would create the world's leading specialized reefer vessel operator
in a new company to be named Lauritzen Cool AB, it said.
"With the establishment of Lauritzen Cool the first step towards the long sought-for consolidation of the global reefer market has now been taken," it said.
The merger of Lauritzen's loss-making reefer subsidiary Lauritzen Reefers
-- both an operator as well as a shipowner -- and Cool Carrier, an operation unit only, would yield synergies of "conservatively estimated" $15 million per year. Lauritzen Cool will use reefer vessels from both Leif Hoegh
and J. Lauritzen. It said total turnover was expected to amount to $430 million for 2001.