ECONOMY

Aegean Marine inks deal to expand in ARA region

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network has agreed to acquire Verbeke Bunkering NV, a bunker operator, or supplier of marine fuel, in the Netherlands, for an undisclosed amount. Piraeus-based Aegean, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, said it will buy nine bunkering vessels and assume the contracts for nine vessels chartered by Verbeke, to expand in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam region, one of the world’s largest bunkering markets. Aegean will also assume the contract for a bunkering tanker building in which Verbeke holds a 50 percent stake, scheduled to be delivered in 2010, the company added. Two brokerages increased their price targets on Aegean shares in response to the news, saying the deal enhances the company’s capacity.