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Wednesday 23.08.2017 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs
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Kirkup: Vitol’s goal is stopping stock market quotation of Latvian Shipping Company’s shares

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe goal of Vitol Netherlands B.V. is stopping the quotation of Latvian Shipping Company’s shares at the stock market once the buy-back of shares is complete, said Chairman of Latvian Shipping Company Robert Kirkup.

The mandatory buy-back offer for LSC shares is currently ongoing, and Kirkup allows that not all minority shareholders will decide to sell their shares.

Kirkup comments: «I allow that there may be shareholders who will decide to keep their shares. There are definitely small shareholders who do not understand the point of the buy-back offer or have forgotten that they own shares. We saw this with the buy-back of Ventspils Nafta shares. But we do expect most minority shareholders will want to sell shares.»

He says no major changes to LSC’s operations are expected after the conclusion of the buy-back of shares.

«LSC will definitely remain a shipping company. This much will not change. We also hope our LSC Shipmanagement will attract more owners for technical management of our ships. Vitol Group has also voiced readiness to provide more ships for us if it becomes a co-owner of LSC,» Kirkup says.

He continues: «This allows us to predict that the scale of operations will grow and the company will be able to attract more workers and sailors. […] Two and a half years ago we had 16 ships. Now we have 26. We hope to increase this number to 30, maybe 34 ships,» Kirkup adds.

Also, according to him, Vitol’s goal is not selling LSC shares after the buy-back. «As far as I am aware, this is not Vitol’s intention. LSC Shipmanagement is an independent business with a highly qualified team and good reputation among sailors. This is why no matter what happens on the corporate side will only have positive changes for the future,» says the company’s chairman.

He also admits that LSC will exit Nasdaq Riga after the end of the share buy-back offer.

«From what I’ve heard from Vitol Netherlands B.V. allegedly wants LSC to leave the exchange regardless of whether or not they become the only shareholder. The only difference is that if Vitol Netherlands B.V. does not become the only shareholder in LSC, minority shareholders who decide to keep their shares will become co-owners in a private company,» Kirkup explains.

He says exclusion of shares from the exchange takes quite a lot of time. This means it could happen in November or December.

It should be added that the Cabinet of Ministers has made the decision to support the sale of state-owned shares in LSC in the buy-back offer voiced by Vitol.

The decision was made based on the fact that the state is a minority shareholder, and the state’s owned package of shares does not provide influence in decision-making processes and management of LSC.

Ref: 225.109.109.5209


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