History

The history of Western Bulk starts in 1982, when the business was established under the names Western Bulk Shipping and Western Bulk Carriers.

Recent development

Western Bulk Chartering AS (the "Company"), which is the parent company of the Western Bulk group, was established in 2008 and became a 100% owned sub-holding company of Western Bulk AS (later Western Bulk ASA, and since February 2016 named Bulk Invest ASA) in 2009. Since 2009, Western Bulk Chartering AS has served as the holding company of Western Bulk AS's chartering business.

In February 2016, Bulk Invest ASA sold the Company to Kistefos Equity Operations AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kistefos AS. Kistefos AS was the largest shareholder in Bulk Invest ASA (controlling about 60% of the shares) at the time of the transaction. In March 2016, Bulk Invest ASA and most of its remaining subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy.

The sale of Western Bulk Chartering AS included the Western Bulk brand name and logo, as well as relevant systems and infrastructure. Following this transaction, Western Bulk Chartering AS has returned as a privately owned, independent chartering company. 

After raising more equity in 2016, the Western Bulk group is owned by about 250 shareholders, with Kistefos AS controlling about 74% of the shares through two of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

More than 30 years of shipping history

Western Bulk's business is conducted through several of its subsidiaries, of which some have a long history. The business was originally established under the names Western Bulk Shipping and Western Bulk Carriers in 1982.

In 1998, Kistefos AS acquired a 23% ownership stake in Western Bulk Shipping ASA and thus became the largest shareholder.

Between 1999 and 2001, Western Bulk Shipping ASA ran into financial difficulties and started a comprehensive restructuring process. The ownership of one of its subsidiaries (Western Bulk Carriers Holding AS) was transferred to its largest shareholders, and Western Bulk Shipping ASA (which was a publicly listed company on the Oslo Stock Exchange from 1993) was delisted from Oslo Stock Exchange during 2001 and taken private by Kistefos AS and one other main shareholder.

From 2003, Kistefos AS initiated a thorough restructuring process of Western Bulk, identifying risk management as a key success factor. As a result, the development of Western Bulk's current risk model began in 2004. During 2006, Kistefos AS became the sole shareholder of Western Bulk AS (which by then was the sole owner of some of the subsidiaries currently owned by the Company), and in the following year a new business model and organizational structure was implemented.

In 2009, Western Bulk AS carried out a corporate restructuring and the Company became the holding company of Western Bulk AS's chartering business. 

In 2013, Western Bulk AS became a publicly listed company on Oslo Stock Exchange, and changed its name to Western Bulk ASA. After the listing, Kistefos AS controlled about 60% of the shares up until the bankruptcy of Bulk Invest ASA in March 2016.

 

Western Bulk

Email and IT-related Fraud Alert

There is an increasing risk of attempted fraud and other security threats via email. In particular, Western Bulk has noticed an increase of fraudulent requests to change bank account details of suppliers/creditors, in an attempt to redirect payments to criminals and not to the intended recipient. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and learn to detect fraudulent email instructions - seemingly legitimate emails may contain fraudulent information, this is not just a cybersecurity matter.

As a result, Western Bulk will treat any notice of bank account changes as suspicious. Urgent pressure to effect payment as soon as possible without verification of the changes will also be treated as suspicious.

Please note that Western Bulk would not inform of changes to bank account details by email notice alone. In the unlikely event that we need to change a beneficiary name or our other bank account details, we would personally contact our supplier or customer in order to personally verify any change in details.

Similarly, we ask that all our suppliers and creditors:

1. first notify us in writing and
2. personally verify any change in bank details or change in beneficiary in any payment advice to Western Bulk.

In summary, notices of bank account changes will require voice confirmation from your Western Bulk contact, either by telephone or face to face, before payment can be authorised so please make sure to notify any changes in good time.