Rickmers Maritime faces $360m in impairments if liquidated as it fights for survival

Rickmers Maritime auditors warn of another $360m of impairments against the value of its fleet if it liquidates as the Singapore shipping trust fights for survival.

The embattled trust reported a net loss of $180.09m in 2016 on revenues of $69.21m. A results presentation by senior management drew particular attention to a “disclaimer of opinion” by its auditors that the carrying value of its fleet was based on “value-in-use” and if the trust was to liquidate additional impairments based on recent vessel transaction prices and the value of existing time charters could total $360m.

Rickmers Maritime’s management stressed that they continued in discussions to reach a restructuring solution after its noteholders rejected its own plans in December last year.

The management said it had seen one proposal from law firm Rajah & Tann on behalf of a group of noteholders “which it would very much like to discuss” and it was also discussing a new framework with Ferrier Hodgson but there was not a new proposal yet.

What form a new proposal would take was unclear but it appeared it would likely be a more short term solution than the one noteholders rejected last year.

“Unfortunately its not now all up to us, we can only support what is proposed,” said Soeren Andersen, ceo of Rickmers Trust Management.

“There can be other ways of doing it which would be more short term and then we could manage for now.”

The trust has $235m of bank debt maturing this year as well as $75m in notes.

Should the trust manage to strike a restructuring deal Andersen said he could easily see a better market at the end of this year, which he sees as providing hope for its fleet of traditional panamax boxships. Panamax boxship spot charter rates have taken a hammering following the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in June last year, and the trust has laid-up five of its vessels to preserve cash.

“I think there is a good likelihood they will be re-activated if we have the runway,” he said.

Andersen added they had lines in Asia upsizing chartered in vessels from 2,800 – 3,500 teu to 4,250 teu – which is the size of the vessels in its fleet.

Posted 16 February 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News