City council, port may lose controlling stake in Riga-Stockholm ferry operator

  • 2004-11-10
  • Baltic News Service
RIGA - The Riga Port and the Riga City Council may lose their controlling stake in Rigas Sea Line, the company which runs the ferry line between Riga and Stockholm, because the company has issued new shares that can be bought by other shareholders.

Riga Mayor and Riga Port Chairman Gundars Bojars told the press that the port's board had decided not to use its pre-emptive right to purchase newly issued shares.

Neither Bojars nor RJL Chairman Gatis Kamaruts would say how many new shares the ferry operator had issued. RJL's registered capital currently stands at 1.27 million lats (1.87 million euros), which is divided into just as many shares.

The Riga Port is the biggest shareholder, holding 31.6 percent in RJL, while the Riga City Council has 25.95 percent. Ilmako Limited has 15.66 percent, Astramar 14.74 percent, Juris Sabasovs 7.04 percent and Vjaceslavs Sprisevskis 5.01 percent.

At present RJL owns one passenger ferry, the Baltic Kristina, which operates between Riga and Stockholm, and also rents the Gute cargo ferry, which also runs on the same route. The company is thinking about buying a second ferry and is tentatively looking for financial backing for the purchase.

Nearly 74,000 passengers traveled between Riga and Stockholm in 2003. RJL expects that number to rise to 80,000 people in total for 2004.