LOF Timeline


Here’s a timeline view of major events in LOF History.

London and Overseas Freighters incorporated

8th April 1948

On the 8th April 1948 London and Overseas Freighters were incorporated, at the core of the business were nine second-hand dry cargo ships owned through three holding companies, Putney Steamship Company Limited, Dorset Steamship Company Limited and Tower Steamship Company Limited. The shares of these three companies were exchanged for 1.7 million £1 shares in… Read more

LOF Stock Floated on London Stock Exchange

20th March 1951

It had always been the intention of the Brothers to invite the public to participate in what was hoped to be a lucrative venture, to this end they approached the London stock Exchange for a quotation and in February of 1951 the Authorities agreed in principle. The Stock Market stated that as long as a… Read more

Growth into Tankers and Bulk Carriers Ltds

5th December 1956

As early as 1956 London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. were actively searching for ways of reducing its tax burden, a serious consideration at the time was ‘Flags of Convenience’ which allowed Companies to reinvest its profits into new tonnage. In April London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. decided to go ahead with its plans and set… Read more

Limited Partnerships

1st January 1960

In 1960 London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. went into a Limited Partnership with the Gibbs Family, a long established Welsh shipping business, the new enterprise was called Welsh Ore Carriers Limited and a new ore carrier ‘Welsh Herald’ was ordered from Austin & Pickersgill Limited. This was to be the start of a very rewarding… Read more

Trading Loss!

1st March 1962

For the first time in its history London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. posted a trading loss and passed on a dividend in March of 1962 it still had six cargo ships on order but had taken delivery in the June of its final tanker which had been ordered pre-1960.

MD Changes

1st July 1965

In the summer of 1965 ‘BM’ suffered a heart attack which necessitated him standing down as Managing Director, his son Bluey stepped into the breach and Stanley Sedgewick, the Company Secretary was promoted to Assistant Managing Director. BM at his own insistence retained the Chairmanship; soon he regained his health and was back at the… Read more

Tankers Ownership

1st October 1966

In October 1966 London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. purchased the remaining 50% interest in London Overseas Tankers in exchange for shares in London and Overseas Freighters Ltd., this brought its combined fleet to 23 ships totalling some half a million tons deadweight.

LOF Turnaround due to the Suez Canal

1st March 1968

In 1967 London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. were heading for a sixth yearly loss in a row when the Suez Canal shut for the second time, the closure gave London and Overseas Freighters Ltd. a brief respite with tankers being in short supply, the Company turned round an anticipated £1 million loss into a £1.2… Read more

The Saddest Day

9th April 1970

9th April 1970 is recorded as being the saddest day in the Company’s 40 year history when London Valour, a 24,900 dwt bulk carrier carrying 24,000 tons of iron ore from Novorossiysk ran aground and sank at Genoa during a force 8 gale. The ship dragged her anchors during the gale and struck the rocky… Read more

The Pioneer Incident

9th December 1975

During the morning 12-4 watch of Tuesday 9th December 1975, an Engine explosion and fire occurred at 01:50 (ships time) probably due to a HP turbine coupling shearing, causing oil in the gearbox to ignite. Read more here

BM’s Passing

30th November 1978

On the 30th November 1978 BM died, he had participated at the Company’s inception thirty years earlier with his cousins and had seen the Company grow from nine old second-hand tramp steamers worth less than £1 million to a fleet of sixteen modern ships in which the Company has invested some £73 million, he was… Read more

Reorg Changes

1st January 1983

On the 1st January 1983 Stanley Sedgwick became Joint Chairman and Miles Kulukundis took over the role of Managing Director. Also this year the recession was taking its toll on London and Overseas Freighters PLC ability to survive in an ever contracting World market, in response they sold their remaining bulk carriers and decided to… Read more

Moving Offices!

1st June 1984

In June of 1984 London and Overseas Freighters PLC moved its offices from Balfour Place in the West End of London to 15, Fetter Lane in the City of London.

Avoiding Receivership

11th December 1985

With still too many ships chasing too little cargo London and Overseas Freighters PLC’s fortunes slipped even further in 1985 with bankruptcy becoming a real possibility. To stave off its creditors the Company sold all three of its 138,680 dwt tankers, also all non-shipping assets were disposed of this left just two ships in the… Read more

Family Bereavements

1st August 1988

In August of 1988 the President of the Company Manuel Kulukundis died in New York weeks short of his 90th birthday, he laid down the foundations of the Company along with his cousin Minas Rethymnis in 1920, his stature had increased along with that of his Company and was recognised Worldwide as a Doyen of… Read more

Record Profits

1st January 1995

In 1995 London and Overseas Freighters Ltd recorded record profits of $8.4 million the highest for seven years, the profits were underpinned by the Chevron time charters of London Spirit, Victory and Pride, also London Enterprise which was trading on the voyage market had increased her daily time charter equivalent earnings from $13,500 last year… Read more

LOF Company Sold

1st November 1997

Concluding a lengthy negotiation, on the 19th of September the Boards of both LOF and Frontline Ltd (formerly Frontline AB, a Swedish Shipowning company recently registered in Bermuda) agreed to proceed with an amalgamation and jointly issued a Press Release announcing the merger on the 22nd of September. Now why the word amalgamation was still in… Read more