GAC purchased the shares of ORO's retiring President Frank H Toftesund. The remaining 20 per cent shares are held by ORO's Managing Director, Ahmet Ozsoy, who will continue to head the new entity GAC-ORO.
The merger brings together GAC's global connections with ORO's 162 years of maritime experience in Norway and its support for that country's oil installation in the North Sea. Established in Bergen, Norway in 1845, ORO's headquarters are in Mongstad, home to the country's biggest oil, gas and product terminal.
Mr Toftesund said the merger had been driven by the recognition that the two companies shared a strong business philosophy bolstered by a common Scandinavian heritage. This, he believed, will remain deeply rooted in the new entity.
"Our partnership with GAC over the past six months has convinced us that closer ties will add strength to ORO's operations and our long-term personal relationships with customers," he said. "The continuing leadership of Ahmet Ozsoy will also ensure stability in the new company and ongoing guidance for our staff."
GAC Group President Lars Säfverström said he had been impressed with the professionalism, knowledge and competence of ORO's staff in all its eight offices. "I am in complete agreement with Frank H Toftesund that there is an ideal fit between GAC and ORO. The compatibility will support the integration of this Norwegian shipping icon with the GAC global network to the benefit of all our customers," he said.
Benefits will be evident in improved vessel turnaround time and cost savings for operators in Norway and beyond.
"The combination of ORO's Norwegian and North Sea expertise and GAC's global strength in ship agency, logistics and offshore support significantly expands our service offering," says GAC-ORO Managing Director Ozsoy. "This will benefit not only ships calling at Norwegian ports, but also Norwegian vessels sailing to ports around the world."
"Equally, our staff will benefit from being part of a global business with all the professional development and training it entails," he added.