Stolt-Nielsen Limited announced on 18 July that it had agreed to acquire the chemical tanker operations of Jo Tankers, a leading provider of deep-sea transport for the chemicals and edible oils industry.

The acquisition comprises 13 chemical tankers and a 50% share in a joint venture with eight chemical tanker newbuildings. The total purchase price is approximately US$575M, including the share of the newbuildings in the joint venture.

The transaction is subject to competition authority approval, with a decision expected before the end of September 2016.

"The transaction covers the tonnage replacement needs of our current chemical tanker fleet for the next several years,” said Niels G Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen.

“While giving us some operational savings, it adds new trade routes to our service offering, thus expanding our presence on key tradelanes and enabling us to better serve the needs of our global customer base.”

The 13 chemical tankers consist of eight all stainless steel ships, ranging from 19,000- 38,000dwt, and five ships with a combination of stainless steel and coated tanks, all of approximately 37,000dwt. Six of the 13 ships have been on time charter to Stolt Tankers for the last five years. The newbuildings included in the transaction consist of eight all stainless steel eco-friendly ships of 33,000dwt on order from New Times Shipbuilding in China, the first of which was delivered in early July 2016. The seven remaining newbuildings are to be delivered in the second half of 2016 and in 2017.

Stolt-Nielsen is a leading global provider of transport for bulk liquid chemicals, edible oils, acids and other specialty liquids through its three largest business divisions, Stolt Tankers, Stolthaven Terminals and Stolt Tank Containers.

Jo Tankers operates the world’s third largest chemical tanker fleet, with around 40 parcel tankers ranging from 5,000-40,000dwt.