Rickmers Holding distances itself from shipping trust Rickmers Maritime ahead of key vote

Rickmers Holding is distancing itself from troubled Singapore shipping trust Rickmers Maritime ahead of key unit and bondholder meetings, which are set to decide its fate.

Rickmers Holding has sold its 100% holding the trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime to Brick Holding International Invest owned by chairman and non-executive director Bertram Rickmers. As such the trust will no longer be a subsidiary of Rickmers Holding although it still has a 34.19% indirect unitholding in Rickmers Maritime.

Unit and bondholders are set to vote on controversial restructuring proposals on 31 October and 9 November respectively, with the trust warning of liquidation if they are not approved.

The restructuring that would see the issue 1.32bn new units in the trust in an equity swap to partially redeem a SGD100m ($73.7m) bond issue due in May 2017. The remaining SGD40m maturity of the bond issue would then be extended until 2023. Bondholders will also receive a SGD500,000 one time coupon payment if the restructuring is successful.

A consent for solicitation statement was dispatched to bondholders on Tuesday.

“We strongly urge noteholders to carefully consider our proposal so we can collectively avoid a potential liquidation scenario. In our view, winding up the trust would destroy the most value and likely leave noteholders with zero recoverability,” stated Soeren Andersen, ceo of Rickmers Trust Management.

The trust which has fleet of 16 panamax containerships decommissioned a further two vessels in September meaning that five of its ships are now in lay-up.

Last month Andersen likened the current state of container shipping to that of being “chased by a lion”.

Posted 18 October 2016

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News