Japanese shipping giant NYK Group has agreed to buy an 80% share in a newly established company that will assume ownership of Eneos Ocean Corp’s entire non-crude shipping fleet.

The new company, which will be structured as a subsidiary of NYK, will own and operate a fleet of at least 41 ships based on data on the Eneos website showing its non-crude fleet to comprise 11 bulk carriers, 15 chemical and product tankers, and 15 VLGCs.

Japanese media outlets have said the new company could have as many as 49 vessels under its control.

Also included in the deal are affiliated Singapore-based businesses that focus on fleet operations and ship management.

Neither company disclosed the value of the transaction.

Eneos said the deal is subject to receiving all required permissions and approvals from national and international regulatory authorities and is expected to close on 1 April 2025.

Once concluded, Eneos will be left with nine VLCCs and three aframax tankers.

Eneos said that while it had provided “high-quality marine transportation to various companies in Japan and overseas”, rising shipbuilding costs and the increasingly stringent regulatory environment that the shipping industry faces had led to its decision to sell.

“We have determined that it is optimal for the target business and, by extension, our group, to operate under a new owner who can draw up a growth strategy in the global shipping sector. Under these circumstances, we have decided to transfer the target business to NYK Line,” the company said.

Eneos described NYK as “a leading company in the domestic and international shipping industry that is accelerating its efforts to decarbonise and actively investing in growth sectors, as an owner who can maximise the high potential of the target business and realise further growth for its business and employees”.

“The target business will continue to play an important role in marine transportation in the supply chain of the group, and we will continue to be involved in the target business by holding a 20% stake in the new company through Eneos Ocean and will work with the NYK Group toward the future growth of the target business,” it added.

Eneos Ocean is a majority-owned (80%) subsidiary of Eneos Corp, Japan’s largest oil company. Minority shareholders include Sompo Japan Insurance with 6.14% and Japan Marine United Corp holding 4.06%.