You may well have seen press coverage during the autumn and again this week regarding the possible sale of the Baltic Exchange.
I am sorry that we have been unable to communicate with you until now and I am equally disappointed not to be able to tell you more at this stage. As we said in our press statement, the Baltic is holding discussions with a number of parties about the possible sale of the Company.
Although we have received expressions of interest, I must make it quite clear that the discussions may very well lead nowhere, in which case we shall continue with business as usual.
I should emphasise that the discussions arise from approaches we have received as a result of the financial success of the Baltic and our enviable global reputation. We have most certainly not sought to create this situation, but we must now deal with it in a professional manner, as you would expect.
If the discussions lead to a firm offer for the Company, then I want to be very clear that in considering such an offer the Board will be very concerned to take into account the interests of all our different stakeholders. We certainly have a responsibility to consider the interests of shareholders, but all our members, including principals, brokers, panellists, smaller members, participants in the FFA market, and even the wider shipping community, will be considered.
If in the end we recommend any offer which may be forthcoming, you can be confident that it will be in the belief that on balance the Company as a whole will be best served by accepting the offer, and we shall not hesitate to reject an offer which does not meet that overarching criterion.
We will not be making further significant public statements, and when we have something substantive to say I will contact you again directly.
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