After his deal with Trafigura, Lauro is concentrating on offshore activities
Hermitage Offshore’s (former Nordic American Offshore which was included in the Scorpio group at the end of 2018) performances improved: the fleet utilization increased from 50% to 85%
Scorpio Group Chairman Emanuele Lauro focused on the leading role of Scorpio Tankers in the liquid bulk market and on the growth plan related to the newest company of the Group, i.e. Nordic American Offshore (NAO), which was renamed Hermitage Offshore Services.
Lauro explained to Ship2Shore why its strategic customer, i.e. commodity trader Trafigura, turned into a shareholder of Scorpio Tankers: “The ships recently purchased were the only units which allowed us to further lower the age of Scorpio Tankers’ fleet, whose shares are regarded as a currency for this type of deals”.
In fact, in exchange for the 19 tankers transferred to Scorpio, Trafigura received 10% of the company’s shares following a private placement signed also by Scorpio Services Holding – belonging to the Lauro-Lolli Ghetti family – which achieved 15% of Scorpio Tankers, remaining its reference shareholder.
“The imminent entry into force of the IMO2020 regulations will result in a liquid bulk market growth. This deal further consolidates our leading position in the oil and product tankers market: 19 ships equipped with scrubbers are going to be added to our fleet, thus lowering the average age of our tonnage even further”, Lauro ensured.
The last company listed in the Wall Street stock exchange included in the Scorpio Group was Nordic American Offshore, the present well-known Hermitage Offshore, in whose capital Lauro entered at the end of 2018, progressively achieving 70% of its shares: “When we became its majority shareholders, the company was facing difficulties, also due to the weakness of the offshore market. In the first months of this year we restructured it, and now its performances are improving significantly”.
This is confirmed by the utilization rate of the company’s offshore units: “Utilization increased from 50% of last year to the current 85%, and also the average level of charters increased. This positive trend is mainly due to the recovery of investments on the part of the oil&gas majors, and to the consequent increase in the demand for naval units supporting offshore activities”.
Now that the company is safe, Lauro is making plans: “Hermitage is our third listed company, and we want to achieve the levels of the first two (Scorpio Tankers and Scorpio Bulkers, ed.). To that end, we will definitely make significant investments soon to strengthen its fleet”.