Geneva March 27th: Grindrod Limited, the integrated logistics and shipping business, has agreed to sell a 50% interest in Cockett Marine Oil (Cockett) to Vitol, the largest independent energy trading business in the world. The consideration amount is undisclosed and the transaction is subject to EU and South African competition commission approval.

Cockett is one of the leading value added resellers and physical marine fuel suppliers in the world with a network of offices across Europe, Americas and Far East providing a global service to shipping clients. Cockett is developing a network of physical supply operations in strategic locations delivering approximately five million tonnes of marine fuels annually at competitive prices whilst guaranteeing quality of service and product.

Ian Taylor, President and CEO of the Vitol Group, said: “We are pleased to have signed this agreement with Grindrod. In January we acquired an interest in their Maputo coal terminal and created a coal trading joint venture. Now we have broadened our relationship with the purchase of 50% of Cockett, one of the leading value added resellers of marine fuels, and our joint agreement to build 4 new product tankers. These are all important additions to the Vitol Group and sources of future growth.”

“Vitol is the ideal partner to support Cockett’s global growth strategy”, said Karl Beeson, Managing Director Cockett Marine Oil.

Further to this transaction, the companies have formed a joint venture company called Leopard Tankers,to build four medium range product tankers in Korea which will be delivered in the first half of 2013. The ships will be commercially operated within the Vitol Group. In addition all the existing ships within the Grindrod fleet will be controlled and managed within the Vitol Group.

Mr Martyn Wade, CEO of Grindrod Shipping said: “This investment represents the ideal partnership of an experienced ship owner with a first class commercial operator having access to a substantial cargo base. The ships represent cutting edge design and incorporate the latest engine technologies allowing significant savings in fuel consumption and running costs. We believe this partnership is an exciting platform for future expansion with the ability to rapidly scale up the investment model as opportunities develop.”

This announcement follows the finalisation of the agreement effective 1 January 2012 in which Vitol will acquire from Grindrod a 35% interest in the company which owns the Maputo coal terminal concession. In addition Vitol and Grindrod announced their intention to combine their respective sub Saharan coal trading businesses (65% Vitol / 35% Grindrod).

About Grindrod

Grindrod, first established in 1910, has evolved into an integrated logistics and shipping service supplier focused on the movement of dry bulk and liquid bulk commodities, containerised cargo and vehicles by road, rail and sea. Listed in South Africa, Grindrod is a global business with representation in 25 countries, employing about 5000 people throughout its four divisions – Freight Services, Shipping, Trading and Financial Services.

Grindrod Freight Services focuses on terminals, intermodal solutions, rail, port operations, road transportation and all facets of traditional logistics, including international freight forwarding, contract logistics and specialized industry-solutions.

Grindrod Shipping’s modern fleet of dry cargo and product and chemical tankers trade globally under the banners of Singapore-headquartered Island View Shipping and Unicorn Shipping.

Grindrod’s Trading division trades worldwide in dry and liquid bulk commodities, including agricultural products, industrial raw materials, marine fuels and lubricants.

Grindrod Bank was established in 1994 and has matured into a competitive merchant bank, offering tailored financial solutions to corporate and private clients.

Further details on Grindrod are available at

About Vitol

The Vitol Group was founded in 1966 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Since then the company has grown significantly to become a major participant in world energy markets and is now one of the world’s largest independent energy traders. Its trading portfolio includes crude oil, oil products, bunker fuel, LPG, LNG, natural gas, coal, power, metals and carbon emissions. Vitol trades with all the major national oil companies, the integrated oil majors and the independent refiners and traders. Through its trading business, Vitol has established itself in shipping as one of the world’s largest charterers of crude oil and oil product tankers.  Globally Vitol trades over 5.5 million barrels of crude oil and products per day and its 2011 revenues were $297 billion.

In addition to its trading business and its 50% share in the storage and terminals business, VTTI, with 11 terminals on five continents, Vitol has an exploration and production business which includes interests in Ghana, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan. It also currently owns and operates over 100 000 barrels per day in refining assets and a thermal coal mine in British Columbia, Canada.

Further details on the Vitol Group are available at

Media Contacts


Brunswick Group LLP, London 
Patrick Handley                                                                                                                                                                   020 7404 5959 

Elizabeth Adams                                                                                                                                                                                020 7404 5959


Alison Briggs 
Public Relations and Marketing Manager 
Grindrod Limited 
 Durban, South Africa 
+27 (31) 302 7113