Dutch shipping company Vroon has made its first vessel purchase under new bank ownership as it targets expansion in core markets.

The refinanced owner said it has bought the 2,500-dwt Aurochs (built 2017) from Japan’s Tsuneishi Group, its thirteenth livestock ship.

The vessel has been renamed as the Friesian Express and will be managed by Vroon’s Livestock Express team.

It is the youngest livestock carrier operating in the global market, according to Vroon.

The Friesian Express has just departed Australia on its maiden voyage under Vroon ownership.

Broker lists suggest this is the first vessel Vroon has bought since it added a container ship in 2016.

Vroon chief executive Martijn Schouten said: “As an internationally renowned shipping company, Vroon’s goal is to build further on our solid base and decades of experience, focussing on what we do best — delivering operational excellence in niche markets.

“Together with our shareholders and lenders, we look forward to taking more such positive steps in the coming period,” he added.

Vroon’s debt has been cut from almost $1bn to $350m as banks took over in a 2023 equity swap.

Former owner the Vroon family has kept a small stake as the group focuses on its fleet of 65 product and high-heat tankers, livestock carriers and emergency response and rescue vessels.

“Following the successful completion of Vroon’s restructuring last year, the focus has now switched to strengthening, expanding and renewing our presence in the markets where we excel,” the company said.

“Building on promising markets in all segments, we look forward to rolling out our strategy,” it added.

Offshore vessel disposals

In December, Danish tanker and bunker group Monjasa’s offshore subsidiary CBED expanded its wind farm business by snapping up two service operation vessels from Dutch owner Vroon.

The 80-loa ships are being renamed the Wind Evolution and Wind Creation (both built 2017) from the VOS Start and VOS Stone.

In September, Vroon sold 30 offshore support vessels (OSVs) to Britoil Offshore Services in Singapore.

The owner offloaded around 40 OSVs in total, after a deal in August that saw Golden Energy Offshore Services of Norway take five. Rederij Groen from the Netherlands took over two other ships.

The company also retains two crew transfer vessels and a wind turbine installation vessel.