Wilhelmsen Ship Management takes 80% stake in Ahrenkiel Tankers

Singapore-based ship manager Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Germany’s Ahrenkiel Tankers, strengthening its position in the tanker market.

As informed, the transaction will result in Wilhelmsen Ship Management taking over the management of five tankers.

The ship manager will gain 80% ownership of Ahrenkiel Tankers under the deal, with the remaining 20% to be held by existing owners MPC Capital Group.

Ahrenkiel Tankers will be rebranded as Barber Ship Management. It marks the first step by Wilhelmsen Ship Management after its earlier decision to re-enter the tanker segment following a decade-long absence, while also reviving the Barber name that originally formed the basis for the company’s present ship management business.

“This acquisition is a clear statement of our intent to expand in the tanker segment,Carl Schou, Chief Executive Officer and President of WSM, commented.

Carl Schou, Chief Executive Officer and President of Wilhelmsen Ship Management. Image by Wilhelmsen

“Ahrenkiel Tankers has developed a strong reputation for reliable tanker management and represents an ideal fit with Wilhelmsen Ship Management given our common values of environmental responsibility and safety, aligned with a high level of competence,” Schou added.

Barber revisited

Wilhelmsen Ship Management was originally named Barber Ship Management Ltd when it was first incorporated in Hong Kong in 1975.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management exited the tanker market in 2009 with the sale of its former subsidiary International Tanker Management (ITM) but reversed this decision two years ago due to an improved regulatory regime for tankers.

Barber Ship Management will now serve as Wilhelmsen’s new specialised management arm for the tanker segment following the transaction, effective from 1 January this year.

“The tanker market is a very different sector today from what it was more than a decade ago in terms of quality and safety, with much better regulation on the competence side, and this has given us the confidence to mark our re-entry into the business with this key acquisition,” Schou concluded.

In 2020, Wilhelmsen Ship Management also acquired a 50% stake in Ahrenkiel Steamship, another subsidiary of MPC Capital Group. The joint venture, with a containership fleet, operates under the brand Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel Ship Management in Hamburg and Rhoon, while supported by Wilhelmsen’s global network.