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Gearbulk and Grieg Star form a joint venture

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Dry Bulk,

Gearbulk and Grieg Star intend to enter into a joint venture (JV) to establish a highly versatile and customer oriented, world wide dry bulk shipping company.

The JV will combine the companies’ global resources and expertise to operate the parties’ combined fleet of open hatch, semi-open hatch and conventional bulk vessels.

The JV will be jointly controlled by Gearbulk and Grieg Star, with Gearbulk owning 65% and Grieg Star owning 35%. The Board of Directors will be composed of five members: three appointed by Gearbulk and two appointed by Grieg Star. Chair of the Board of Directors will be Kristian Jebsen, with Grieg Star holding the vice chair.

Kristian Jebsen, Chairman and CEO of Gearbulk, said: “This agreement represents the firm intention of both companies to build an improved range of services for our customers. The combined number of vessels and trades will make it easier for our customers to find services that fit their needs.”

“The talks and cooperation throughout this process have built an invaluable trust and confidence between the parties. The two companies both have strong corporate cultures and values, and we aim to take the best from the two, and merge them into one strong, customer-oriented culture, commented the Chair of Grieg Star, Elisabeth Grieg.

The name of the JV is yet to be decided, but it will be established as an independent Norwegian company with headquarters in Bergen, Norway and with own resources and offices around the world. The Chief Executive Officer will be Rune Birkeland, and the Chief Commercial Officer will be Arthur English. Subject to completion of final agreements, corporate authorisations and relevant regulatory approvals having been obtained, the JV is expected to be fully operational through the first half of 2017.

“We see our two operations as complementary, making this joint venture a natural next step for our companies. In an increasingly competitive market, we believe this new entity will have the size to build and sustain a versatile and independent shipping service,” said Camilla Grieg, CEO of Grieg Star.

The total number of vessels operated by the joint venture will be over 130. The obligations towards existing contracts shall remain fully in force and will be fulfilled by the JV, under the ultimate responsibility of its shareholders.

The two parties will retain their independent technical ship management and ownership in the vessels.

Additionally, the scope of the JV excludes activities and vessels operated by Gearbulk in association with other third parties, as well as terminal business, transhipment activities, operation of liquid pitch tankers and caustic bulk vessels. For Grieg Star, their terminal businesses will also remain outside the scope of the new JV.

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