BW Group

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BW Group Limited
Private
Industry Shipping
Headquarters Oslo and Singapore
Area served
Global
Key people
Chairman: Andreas Sohmen-Pao; CEO: Carsten Mortensen
Number of employees
4,500 (2016)
Website www.bw-group.com

BW Group is a global maritime group involved in shipping, floating gas infrastructure and deepwater oil & gas production. The company has a fleet of over 165 vessels. The group was founded by Sir Yue-Kong Pao in Hong Kong in 1955 as World-Wide Shipping. In 2003, the company acquired Bergesen d.y. ASA, Norway's largest shipping company, which was founded in 1935 by Sigval Bergesen the Younger. In 2005, the business was re-branded as BW. With its LNG and LPG fleets combined, BW Group operates the world's largest gas shipping fleet of more than 70 large gas vessels, including three FSRUs (floating storage and regasification units). BW Offshore operates the world's second largest floating oil and gas production fleet (FPSOs), with more than 15 units in the US, Brazil, Mexico, West Africa, North Sea, and Australasia. BW's fleet also includes crude oil supertankers, refined oil tankers, chemical tankers and dry bulk carriers.

BW Group comprises BW Offshore, BW LPG, BW Pacific, BW LNG, BW VLCC, BW Chemical Tankers, BW Dry Cargo and BW Fleet Management. BW Offshore and BW LPG are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Overview[edit]

The BW group includes two long-standing shipping businesses: World-Wide Shipping (founded by Sir Yue-Kong Pao) and Bergesen d.y. which was acquired by World-Wide in 2003.

In the late 1970s, two British Hongs were taken over by Chinese entrepreneurs: Hutchison Whampoa Ltd by Li Ka-Shing, and Kowloon Wharf by Yue-Kong Pao. Y.K. Pao was a native from Ningbo, Zhejiang province who came to Hong Kong in 1949 and acquired an aging ship to establish the Worldwide Shipping Company in 1955. At its peak in 1979 World-Wide had 204 ships totalling 20,500,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT).[1] When the shipping downturn started in 1978, World-Wide sold tonnage while prices were still reasonable, paying off debt and building cash resources. In less than five years the fleet had halved in size, allowing World-Wide to avoid the crises suffered by many shipping companies.[2]

In 1989, Pao passed on his interest in World-Wide to his eldest daughter, Anna Sohmen-Pao, shortly before his death in 1991. World-Wide was ranked as the sixth largest shipping fleet (number of vessels) in the world in 2004 and has been chaired by Helmut Sohmen, Pao's eldest daughter's husband, since 1986.

In late 2000, following a period of stakebuilding starting in Bergesen d.y., the Sohmen family came to an agreement in March 2003 with Morten Bergesen and Petter Sundt, the controlling family shareholders, to buy their interest in Bergesen and mount a full public offering for all outstanding shares.

In 2004, following completion of this transaction, there was a reorganisation of the Sohmen family interests, with the creation of a new top holding company, Bergesen Worldwide Ltd., registered in Bermuda, which is owned 93% by the Sohmen family and 7% by HSBC. The holding company was subsequently renamed BW Group Limited.

In 2005, a further re-organisation took place, accompanied by the re-branding of the business under a single group brand, BW. BW Gas was listed in Oslo in October 2005 as a pure gas shipping company with the BW Group retaining a majority share. BW Offshore followed suit by being listed in May 2006. The other assets remain in private ownership.

In 2009, BW Gas was privatised. On 21 November 2013, the LPG business was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange as BW LPG.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

The BW group is made up of two long-standing shipping businesses: World-Wide Shipping and Bergesen d.y. ASA, which was acquired by the former in 2003. To reflect this acquisition, a new holding company, Bergesen Worldwide Ltd. was incorporated in Bermuda. In 2005, the business was re-branded as BW.[3]

World-Wide Shipping's beginnings[edit]

Sir Yue-Kong Pao (more commonly known as Sir Y.K. Pao) started World-Wide Steamship Company Limited with his father S.L. Pao, brother H.K. Pao and friends C.L. Pan, P.C. Lee, T.H. Chiang, A.P.Y. Waung, W.S. Cheng and Y.S. Zee. The new company was incorporated in Hong Kong in July 1955. The company's first ship Inchona, a 27-year old coal-burning steamer, was renamed Golden Alpha. Several other ships were quickly added to the fleet and were chartered by Japanese and Hong Kong companies. It was a decision that other ship-owners deemed unusual and risky although it soon paid off. In 1956 freight charges rose rapidly due to the closure of the Suez Canal during the Suez Crisis.[4] Over the years, the company’s fleet grew and by 1979 it had over 200 vessels and group tonnage of 20.5 million DWT, making it larger than the US and Soviet merchant fleets combined.[5]

World-Wide's entry into tanker market and oil crises[edit]

During the 1960s, Sir Y.K. Pao was determined to enter the tanker market. However, his lack of experience meant oil companies refused to charter his vessels. He was rejected by Shell Oil and various American oil companies. Nonetheless, he managed to break into the market by acquiring a second-hand tanker that came attached with a charter. The tanker, renamed World Oriental, was soon joined by World Continental and World Universal. Pao continued approaching potential customers and then Standard Oil-Esso eventually gave him a chance. By 1964, Pao had nine tankers that were chartered by oil companies.[6] The company's first very large crude carrier (VLCC) was constructed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and named World Chief in 1969. Another 42 VLCCs were added to the fleet between 1970 and 1974 and most were constructed in Japan.[7] World-Wide survived the first oil crisis as it had reliable charterers for its vessels. However, the company had to implement drastic measures to survive the second oil crisis. Anna Pao's husband Dr Helmut Sohmen convinced Pao of the severity of the crisis. The founder then promptly sold 140 ships within five years. The timely sales ensured that World-Wide Shipping was in a much better state than its competitors after the crisis as it was in a better position to cope with the increasing popularity of voyage charters and low freight costs.[8][9]

Change of leadership[edit]

Sir Y.K. Pao retired in 1986 and Dr. Helmut Sohmen, who joined the company in 1970, took over.[10] As shipyards were in a dismal state after the crisis and eager for new orders at low prices, World-Wide Shipping purchased six tankers from Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering before the market recovered and in time to enjoy the higher freight rates during the First Gulf War.[11] World-Wide Shipping again commissioned Daewoo to build another six VLCCs and Daewoo would go on to be the main builder of World-Wide's ships.[12]

Acquisition of Bergesen d.y. ASA[edit]

By 2000, Dr. Helmut Sohmen had identified two companies, Bergesen d.y. ASA and Iino Kaiun Kaisha, which had good management and assets. However, the share prices of both companies did not appear to wholly capture the value of the companies. The Sohmen family's investment management team began investing in both companies and continued stakebuilding for two years.[13] Although Sohmen had conveyed his friendly intentions, Iino's management sought to maintain the status quo and did not want World-Wide to hold more shares than the largest shareholder. Respecting Iino's wishes, World-Wide called off the plan and sold off its shares at a profit.[14] Bergesen cousins Morten Bergesen and Petter C. G. Sundt, grandchildren of founder Sigval Bergesen d.y., reacted more positively. They were firm that any offer for their shares would have to be extended to all other shareholders as well. By March 2003 the cousins had accepted World-Wide's offer. World-Wide then mounted a public offer and accumulated over 90% of the shares. The acquisition received considerable media attention as Bergesen was both Norway's largest shipping company and also one of its best.[15] Both groups achieved a high degree of cooperation and continuity and a new holding company, Bergesen Worldwide Ltd, was soon incorporated in Bermuda in 2004 to reflect this acquisition.[16] In 2005 the business was rebranded under a single group brand, BW.[17]

Bergesen's beginnings[edit]

Sigval Bergesen d.y. hailed from a shipping family. His great-grandfather Berge Bergesen started a shipping company in 1840 and his father Sigval Bergesen founded his own in 1887.[18] Sigval Bergesen d.y. joined his father's company in 1916 and after disagreeing with his father's refusal to commission two large 15,000 DWT tankers from Odense Steel Shipyard (which was owned by A.P. Møller), left the company with one of its contracts. He soon established his own company, then named Sig. Bergesen d.y. & Co., on 20 February 1935. The company was run by his partner, Erland Bassøe, for over four years after Sigval Bergesen d.y. accepted A.P. Møller's job offer and served as the latter's right-hand man.[19] The company first ship, Président de Vogüé, was launched in May 1935. Charles Racine, named after Sigval Bergesen d.y.'s grandfather, joined the fleet in 1937 and Anders Jahre, named after the famed Norwegian shipping tycoon, was acquired in 1939.[20]

The Bergesen Fleet during the Second World War[edit]

Just before the Second World War, Sigval Bergesen d.y. shifted the company headquarter from Stavanger to Oslo to facilitate communication with business contacts. The Stavanger office became a branch office which continued to be overseen by Erland Bassøe. During the war, the company's fleet of Président de Vogüé, Charles Racine, and Anders Jahre was considered modern for its time and also fully in operation. The ships temporary entered the management and operation of the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission (Nortraship). Charles Racine was sunk by three torpedoes on 10 March 1942 although her whole crew was rescued. Anders Jahre continued sailing independently most of the time although she joined a convoy whenever she sailed from the Persian Gulf or an Indian Port. The last ship, Président de Vogüé, was active in the Atlantic Ocean during the war. When she sailed into Stavanger's port on 20 May 1945, she was the first ship under Nortraship to return to Norway.[21]

Rosenberg Shipyard[edit]

Years of working for A.P. Møller no doubt convinced Sigval Bergesen d.y. of the strategic importance of having a shipyard. After learning that Norges Bank intended to sell its Rosenberg Mekaniske Verksted shares, Sigval Bergesen d.y. bought those shares at a price decided by the bank. As such, he gained a quarter of the shipyard's shares and would later go on to secure full ownership. Rosenberg delivered Berge Bergesen, a 16000 DWT vessel, in 1951 and then Crown Princess Märtha of Norway was the ship's sponsor. At the point of its creation, it was the largest vessel ever constructed in Norway. Initially Rosenberg's building berth could only fit vessels of 33000 DWT and below. A larger dry dock that could fit vessels of 85000 DWT and below was built to meet the company's demand for greater tonnage. The shipyard was also expanded in the 1960s so it could construct even bigger vessels of up to 160000 DWT. Nonetheless, after nearly 27 years, 43 vessels and much investment in the shipyard's facilities, it became apparent that Rosenberg could no longer fulfil the company's needs and was sold off on 1 January 1970.[22] During its years under Bergesen's ownership Rosenberg was graced by many notable guests. King Haakon VII, Crown Princess Märtha, King Olav V, Princess Astrid and Norwegian Prime Minister Einar Gerhardsen were some of the illustrious visitors to the shipyard.[23]

Sigval Bergesen d.y.'s retirement[edit]

Sigval Bergesen d.y. retired in 1976 at the age of 83. The control of his company went to Jacob E. Jacobsen and Sigval Bergesen d.y.'s grandsons Morten Sigval Bergesen and Petter C. G. Sundt. Jacob E. Jacobsen had been with the company since the very start while both grandsons were made partners a year before taking over the leadership. Sigval Bergesen d.y. passed away on 7 May 1980 at the age of 87.[24]

Starting and expanding a gas tanker fleet[edit]

In 1974, Fearnley & Eger, a shipping company likewise based in Norway, decided to expand its gas tanker fleet and commissioned seven gas carriers. One order was passed to Bergesen and another to Gotaas-Larsen A/S. However, Fearnley & Eger faced financial difficulty in seeing the remaining deals through and another four of their contracts were transferred to Bergesen. Bergesen would also acquire the other vessel from Gotaas-Larsen A/S. These six LPG tankers were the first of Bergesen's gas tanker fleet.[25] By the late 1980s, Bergesen was a prominent owner and operator of large LPG tankers. In 1999, it was decided that Bergesen would specialise in large and very large gas carriers while A.P. Møller managed small gas carriers and Exmar focused on medium gas carriers.[26]

Going public and expansion[edit]

On 1 January 1986, the various companies under Bergesen d.y. Group were merged and renamed Bergesen d.y. A/S. The company was listed on Oslo Børs a few months later on 9 September.[27]

The company also began acquiring other companies. It acquired Den Norske Amerikalinje in 1995 but soon sold it to Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA. Its acquisition of Havtor AS, a gas carrier company, in 1996 increased its fleet size to over 90 vessels and cemented its position as a leading shipping company.[28]

Bergesen also diversified with its purchase of large ore carriers and FPSOs. Between 1986 and 2000, Bergesen acquired many large ore carriers including Berge Stahl (the biggest ore carrier in the world at 364767 DWT until Vale Brasil broke the record in 2011), Bergeland, Berge Nord, Berge Atlantic, Berge Pacific and Berge Arctic.[29] The company also had experience in the offshore sector with pipe-laying ship Berge Worker and FPSOs Berge Sisar and Berge Troll. As such, after negotiating with Statoil, it succeeded in attaining shared ownership of Berge Hugin which was converted into an FPSO in 1998.[30]

Acquisition and delisting[edit]

World-Wide Shipping acquired the cousins' shares in April 2003. World-Wide then mounted a public offer and accumulated over 90% of the shares and Bergesen was privatised.[31]

Leadership of BW Group[edit]

In 1990 third-generation leadership joined the company with Dr Helmut Sohmen's eldest son, Andreas Sohmen-Pao. Sohmen-Pao has an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School and a double first class Honours Degree (B.A. Hons) from Oxford University in Oriental Studies in 1993. He worked at Goldman Sachs International in London before joining World-Wide Shipping in London, serving positions in various divisions of World-Wide Shipping before assuming the role of BW Group CEO in 2009. Sohmen-Pao stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of BW Group on April 1, 2015.

After 44 years with the company, Dr Sohmen retired in 2014 as Chairman of BW Group and his son Andreas Sohmen-Pao assumed that role.[32] Carsten Mortensen, who had spent nearly three decades working at A.P. Moller–Maersk Group and D/S Norden, replaced Andreas Sohmen-Pao as CEO in 2015.[33]

CEO Carsten Mortensen, CFO Jakob Bergholdt, Managing Directors Lars Pedersen and Yngvil Eriksson Åsheim, and Senior Vice Presidents Nicholas Fell, Sebastien Brochet and Billy Chiu form the Management Committee.[34]

Companies under BW Group[edit]

Overview[edit]

The BW Group comprises BW Offshore, BW LPG, BW Pacific, BW LNG, BW VLCC, BW Chemical Tankers, BW Dry Cargo and BW Fleet Management.[35] BW Gas was listed in Oslo in October 2005 as a pure gas shipping company with the BW Group retaining a majority share. BW Offshore followed suit and was listed in May 2006. In 2009, BW Gas was delisted.[36] On 21 November 2013, the LPG business was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange as BW LPG.[37]

BW Offshore[edit]

BW Offshore is both the first to operate an LPG FPSO in Angola and the first to operate in the Gulf of Mexico with BW Pioneer, the FPSO operating on the deepest waters.[38] The company has a niche in FPSO and FSO conversion, attaining a track record of 38 conversions.[39] CEO Carl K. Arnet, CFO Knut R. Sæthre, CCO Rune Bjorbekk and COO Marco Beenen oversee and manage the company's operation in 12 countries.[40][41]

BW LPG[edit]

BW LPG owns and operates more than 50 Very Large Gas Carriers and Large Gas Carriers. BW LPG specialises in transportation and floating storage services and operates in nine countries.[42] It is incorporated in Bermuda and led by CEO Martin Ackermann, CFO Elaine Ong and Senior Vice Presidents Niels Rigault and Pontus Berg.[43]

BW LNG[edit]

BW has more than 40 years of experience in and its current LNG fleet is made up of LNG carriers and FSRUs which are contracted to energy corporations such as Engie, NLNG, Pavilion Gas, Sinopec and Sonatrach. It is headed by Managing Director Yngvil Ashiem. Vice President Petter Larsson is responsible for the European and South African markets while General Manager Blake Blackwell focuses on markets in the Americas, Senior Manager Lim Wei Hong on East Asia and General Manager Ashok Krishnan on West Asia, Middle East and West Africa.[44]

BW Pacific[edit]

BW Pacific is a joint venture by BW Group and PAG (formerly known as Pacific Alliance Group) that was initially slated to be listed.[45][46] It has one of the biggest fleet of Long Range 1 (LR1) and Medium Range (MR) product tankers which carry cargoes such as naphtha, gasoline and jet fuel . CEO Tina Revsbech manages a team active in Singapore, Denmark and USA.[47]

BW Dry Cargo[edit]

BW Dry Cargo was established in March 2016. It focuses on shipping dry bulk cargo with a fleet of vessels between 50,000 and 90,000 DWT. BW Dry Cargo acquired nine bulk carriers within a year.[48] Managing Director Christian Bonfils leads the team with his team members Chartering Manager Morten Bang and Operations Manager Matias Andersen.[49]

BW Fleet Management[edit]

BW Fleet Management is in charge of newbuildings and crewing. It is headed by Managing Director Lars Pedersen.[50]

BW VLCC[edit]

BW has a long history in tankers and crude carriers as both Bergesen and World-Wide were involved in the industry. In April 2017, the BW VLCC fleet was sold to DHT Holdings and will be gradually phased into DHT's ownership over several months. In exchange, BW gained 33.5% of DHT's stake. a significant shareholder in DHT with a 33.5% holding.[51]

BW Chemical Tankers[edit]

BW Chemical Tankers has 15 vessels in its fleet which is managed by WOMAR Tanker Pools.[52] BW acquired its 50% stake in WOMAR in April 2014.[53] Senior Vice President Billy Chiu represents BW in WOMAR.[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hutcheon, Robert (1990). First Sea Lord: The Life and Work of Sir Y. K. Pao. Chinese University Press. ISBN 9622014542. 
  2. ^ Sohmen, Anna (2014). Y.K. pao: My Father. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 988808383X. 
  3. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 57. 
  4. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 4. 
  5. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 34. 
  6. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 13. 
  7. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 25. 
  8. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 35. 
  9. ^ Sohmen, Anna (2014). Y.K. pao: My Father. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 988808383X. 
  10. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 36. 
  11. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 38. 
  12. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 39. 
  13. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 53. 
  14. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 54. 
  15. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 56. 
  16. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 57. 
  17. ^ "2000s: A New Identity". BW Group. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  18. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 17. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  19. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 19. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  20. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 20. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  21. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 22. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  22. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 25. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  23. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 28. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  24. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 35. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  25. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 36. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  26. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 49. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  27. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 42. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  28. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 44. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  29. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 44. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  30. ^ Eriksen, Svein, ed. (2003). The Bergesen Fleet 1935 - 2003. Bergesen d.y. ASA. p. 45. ISBN 82-993384-2-5. 
  31. ^ World-Wide Shipping: The Voyage of a Half Century. 2005. p. 56. 
  32. ^ Lim, Lisa; Fell, Nick, eds. (2014). "Chairman's Message". WorldHorizon. No. 3. BW Group. pp. 2, 3. 
  33. ^ Wong, Adlena; Fell, Nick, eds. (2015). "Meet Carsten Mortensen". WorldHorizon. No. 1. BW Group. pp. 6, 7. 
  34. ^ "Management Committee". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  35. ^ "BW Group". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  36. ^ "BW Gas Limited delisting from Oslo Børs". Oslo Børs. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  37. ^ "BW LPG IPO". BW LPG. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  38. ^ "80 years of maritime energy history". BW Offshore. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  39. ^ "Track Record". BW Offshore. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  40. ^ "Management". BW Offshore. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  41. ^ "Business Model". BW Offshore. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  42. ^ "About Us". BW LPG. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  43. ^ "Executive Management". BW LPG. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  44. ^ "BW LNG". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  45. ^ "BW Pacific Cancel IPO Due to Poor Market Conditions". Ship & Bunker. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  46. ^ "About Us". BW Pacific. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  47. ^ "Long Range 1 and Medium Range Product Tankers". BW Pacific. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  48. ^ "BW Dry Cargo". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  49. ^ Lim, Lisa; Fell, Nick, eds. (2017). "Feature". WorldHorizon. No. 2. BW Group. p. 9. 
  50. ^ "BW Fleet Management". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  51. ^ "BW VLCC". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  52. ^ "BW Chemical Tankers". BW Group. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  53. ^ "About Us". WOMAR Tanker Pools. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  54. ^ Lim, Lisa; Fell, Nick, eds. (2017). "Feature". WorldHorizon. No. 2. BW Group. p. 9. 

External links[edit]