V.Ships buys ITM and strengthens role in the Middle East

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V.Ships has taken the third party shipmanagement market by surprise by announcing its purchase of the Dubai-headquartered tanker ship management specialist ITM from Wilhelmsen Ship Management for an undisclosed sum.

The move, which immediately strengthens V.Ships foothold in the important Middle East tanker management sector, will also safeguard jobs at a company which Wilhelmsen has been looking to sell. ITM currently has 45 ships on full management.

Lars Modin, Managing Director of ITM (pictured), also joins V.Ships as part of the deal as will the remaining office staff and ITM’s onboard sea staff.

Roberto Giorgi, President of V.Ships, added: “While we continue to focus on organic growth, we see the acquisition of ITM as a very important strategic initiative which demonstrates our commitment to grow at a time of challenging trading conditions. This initiative will help us to further improve the services we offer to our expanding client base.”

Lars Modin, Managing Director, ITM, said: “My management team and I look forward to being part of V.Ships and will work to develop strong relationships between our office networks, which encompasses Dubai, Hamburg, Singapore and Houston, and the already extensive network of V.Ships. We are excited by the possibilities for expanding our market presence with their support.”

Carl Schou, President Wilhelmsen Ship Management, added: “This is a good deal for ITM, for V.Ships and WSM. We believe ITM will flourish within the V.Ships organisation and wish the company and its employees a prosperous future.”

Roberto Giorgi told SMI that the deal was good “for both buyer and seller and especially good for the guys in ITM, the clients and the sea staff. For us, the Middle East market is an important market and there is potential for big expansion. We count on the pedigree of the people in ITM who are very strong in the chemical business.”

A key benefit to V.Ships is the addition into its crewing pool of the ITM seafaring staff.

Mr Giorgi added: “If you go back one year, we were always looking for potential acquisitions and it makes sense from a strategic point of view. People are really important for our business and if you see a company with a good team, and good market tools and see a desire from the seller to dispose of the business, we are pleased to be the preferred buyer.”