Banking giant Goldman Sachs has emerged as a major shareholder in Gram Car Carriers, a company set to go private after a big-ticket takeover by Gianluigi Aponte.

Goldman has bought and borrowed shares in the Oslo-listed company to jump to fourth place in its present shareholder list.

The New York investment bank now owns 2.1m shares, leapfrogging HM Gram Enterprises, an investment outfit linked to company executive Mas Gram, according to a stock exchange filing.

Just over 1.1m are owned outright, with the remainder acquired through securities lending, the filing said. A few hundred were acquired through swaps.

The filing said the reporting threshold was crossed on Tuesday.

Gram Car Carriers is currently the subject of a $700m takeover from Aponte’s MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The Switzerland-based container shipping giant launched the bid alongside first-quarter earnings last month and is looking to acquire all 29.3m shares for NOK 263.69 ($24.71) each.

It is seeking 90% approval from shareholders and already has the support of 54.5% of shareholders thanks to support from its three largest shareholders: F Laeisz, AL Maritime Holding and Glenrinnes Farms, plus HM Gram Enterprises Ltd.

Gram Car Carriers shares shot up from NOK 212.50 to NOK 266.50 following the MSC takeover announcement.

Since the share price has retreated slightly, trading steadily between NOK 257 and NOK 258.

MSC has said it intends to continue running Gram Car Carriers the same way, as a third-party tonnage provider to other car carrier operators, with the same personnel.

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