Braemar says merger with ACM to ‘change the face of shipbroking’

Chief Executive Officer of Braemar Shipping Services, James Kidwell, has said that his company’s planned merger with ACM Shipping Group will “change the face of ship broking”.
Braemar and ACM announced the planned merger on yesterday morning via a scheme of arrangement under which ACM shareholders will receive two new ordinary shares and GBP2.50 ($4.20) for every five ACM shares. Following the merger Braemar shareholders will hold 72% of the merged company and ACM 28%.
“We are really excited about this move and for ship broking and ACM. It’s going to be an absolutely momentous move, actually we are going to change the face of ship broking,” Kidwell said.
The merged ship broking business will have roughly 420 brokers worldwide and be branded as Braemar ACM.
Explaining what they believed the benefits of the merger would be Kidwell said: “When you look at the strengths of Braemar and the strengths of ACM and you put them together what they will be achieving is desks that have good age profiles from top to bottom. It will enable us to plan our succession for the next decade. It will also enable us to improve our market coverage across the majority of the sectors we operate in and that will be very good for our clients.”
Resulting from the merger the company will have what he described as large offices in London, Singapore, Melbourne and China as well as offices US, Dubai and India, which Kidwell said was “a very strong network in any ship broking terms”.
Scale across and wide range of sectors and geographies is a key point in the merger.
CEO of ACM, Johnny Plumbe, explained: “We then have this diversification all the way through from tankers to dry cargo to the gas side and offshore, which we believe is what you need today and also the scale you need today in the broking world, that is important.
“One is either a very small, boutique broker concentrating on very small areas or you have to be global and have a certain scale to service the market properly.”
Kidwell also sees prospects arising for cross desk broking which is seen as a revenue driver in the future.
The merger requires the approval of both companies’ shareholders, as well as court approval for the scheme of arrangement, and is expected to be completed by the end of July.
Shortly after the merger is completed Braemar ACM will be moving to new premises in Central London. It will also be combining its offices in Singapore and Melbourne, and looking to something similar in China.