Atle Bergshaven is looking to pair down his shipping interests as he decamps to Cyprus.
The Norwegian tycoon said he had sold two aframax tankers at a significant profit last year and was looking to further decrease his exposure to shipping in an interview with Dagens Naeringsliv last week.
“There is actually no such thing as low risk in shipping. We are pulling down the exposure to shipping to avoid a worst-case scenario with large losses,” Bergshaven said.
“You can say it has to do with the phase of life I am in now. You can go broke in business without being bankrupt because you have too little cash.”
Bergshaven also said he has owned a home in Cyprus for many years and intends to spend more time there.
The Grimstad-based owner has a fleet of mostly oil tankers with two bulk carriers and three platform supply vessels through his company Bergshav. Its B-Gas outfit has 13 LPG carries in its stead.
In the interview, Bergshaven did not name the ships he sold.
VesselsValue lists one deal, the 105,800-dwt Bergitta (built 2007) which was sold to Westport Tankers for $16m in November 2022.
Bergshav had owned the ship since its delivery from Japan’s Tsuneishi Zosen.
Since the sale, the ship was renamed the Sifis. It was sold three months later in February 2023 to Gatik Ship Management for $32m and renamed the Naxos.
Gatik has been identified as a major mover of Russian crude oil, circumventing the G7-backed price cap.
Its ships have reportedly lost flag and insurance coverage and have had to shuffle ownership structures in an effort to avoid detection.
Despite the ship selling for twice as much just months later, Bergshaven said he was thrilled with the price he was able to fetch.
“So you can of course ask whether the timing is correct but we have sold at prices we could only have dreamt of a short time ago,” he said. “We are talking about 15-year-old boats that we got more for than what they cost when they were new.”