“Disappointed” BV concedes defeat over GL
French class society Bureau Veritas has conceded defeat in its efforts to buy Hamburg-based Germanischer Lloyd following last week’s announcement that businessman Gunther Herz has bought over 90% of GL shares.
In a barbed statement GL says: “The shareholders of Germanischer Lloyd, by their majority acceptance of the offer by Gunther Herz to acquire their interest in the German classification society, have preferred a financially driven solution to the one Bureau Veritas proposed, which was aimed at leveraging the long-term dynamics of the global ship classification market. Bureau Veritas also considers that the enhanced acquisition price will create strong financial pressure on Germanischer Lloyd going forward.”
Frank Piedelievre, Bureau Veritas President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Bureau Veritas wishes Germanischer Lloyd well under its new ownership structure. There are no hard feelings. We are naturally disappointed that the Germanischer Lloyd shareholders chose to decline the Bureau Veritas offer, which was a very fair one, based on our intricate knowledge of the market. An alliance between Bureau Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd would have created the world’s leading ship classification society, headquartered in Hamburg, and a powerful industrial alliance, adding value in the marketplace.”
Referring to the bitter resistance provoked by BV’s bid, Mr Piedelievre added: “We wish to state that objections raised at times in recent weeks about the adverse effects - on Germany and on the German workforce - of our proposed alliance were entirely unfounded. The alliance would have benefited not only Germanischer Lloyd itself, but also the port of Hamburg and the German maritime industry, as their strength and development potential would have been greatly increased by the joint undertaking.”
Meanwhile it is understood that GL’s complaint to IACS’s Council meeting last week that the BV bid broke the international body’s ethics code may be referred to lawyers for an opinion. However it is unclear whether GL will continue to pursue this now it has secured its independence.