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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Rickmers Maritime to be delisted and wound up

Trustee-manager unsuccessful in last-ditch effort to secure new restructuring proposal.

Updated on 13 Apr 2017 09:02 GMT

Singapore-based Rickmers Maritime, a business trust which owns and operates containerships, is to be wound up and delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), trustee-manager Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd (RTM) confirmed on Wednesday.

In a statement, RTM said: "Following the unsuccessful attempt in December 2016 to obtain noteholders' approval to restructure the S$100 million 8.45% medium-term notes issued by the Trust [Rickmers Maritime], which was a condition for the restructuring of the Trust's secured bank loans via a US$260 million new facility agreed to by its senior lenders, the Trustee-Manager [RTM] has been unable to reach an alternative agreement with its lenders to restructure the Trust's debts.

"This has led to events of default as a result of, amongst others, the failure to make the US$196.7 million principal repayment to the HSH Syndicate [HSH Nordbank AG (HSH) and DBS Bank Ltd (DBS)] due on 31 March 2017 and the S$4.3 million coupon payment to noteholders in November 2016, as well as various breaches in loan covenants, which have cast material uncertainties on the Trust's ability to continue as a going concern. This situation places the Trust in a situation of aggravated and unsustainable illiquidity going forward."

According to RTM, it was given until 15th April by HSH to present a new restructuring proposal that would ensure a higher level of total recoveries than under a winding up of Rickmers Maritime. RTM says it entered into discussions with potential investors to raise new equity "on the basis that, subject to further approvals and conditions, HSH would be willing to grant material debt forgiveness of the existing loans that it has extended to the Trust if the Trust was able to secure similar substantial debt forgiveness from the noteholders and its other unsecured creditors". However, RTM explained that investors did not support the injection of new equity into Rickmers Maritime due the difficulty in securing consent for "significant debt write-offs".

"In light of the aggravated illiquidity and lack of new investors, the Trustee-Manager opines that it is impracticable to continue the Trust and that it shall therefore be wound up," RTM added.

Winding up process

RTM said it is in advanced discussions with a potential buyer for Rickmers Maritime's assets, which may allow the firm to distribute cash recoveries upfront to unsecured creditors.

RTM explained that it will advise the amount of recoveries to its unsecured creditors via their respective agents and trustees in due course.

"Regrettably, unitholders are highly unlikely to recover any of their investments," RTM noted.

Commenting on the operation of Rickmers Maritime's ships, RTM said: "It is expected that the business operations of the Trust's vessels will remain unaffected by this process and that the Trust will continue to meet its ongoing charter party obligations to its customers."

Zeaborn takeover

In February, Zeaborn Group announced the acquisition of Rickmers-Linie - a specialist in the transportation of breakbulk, heavylift and project cargoes. The deal also included the business operations of MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting (MC Marine), which acts as a bunker and chartering broker, and NPC Projects.

Last week, Zeaborn-owned Rickmers-Line GmbH & Co. KG (Rickmers-Line) confirmed that it had taken over the business operations of Rickmers-Linie and MCC Marine as well as NPC Projects, effective 1st April.

"The change will have no impact on the former Rickmers-Linie workforce, routes and tonnage under long-term charter. All Rickmers-Linie offices remain in place as do NPC subsidiary offices. Rickmers-Line GmbH & Co. KG will conduct business on behalf of the carrier company RZ Carrier GmbH & Co. KG.," Rickmers-Line said on 6th April.

Following the takeover, Zeaborn has a combined fleet of around 50 multi-purpose vessels, with deadweight capacities ranging between 7,500 and 30,000 tonnes.

Established in 1982, MCC Marine acts as a worldwide bunker and chartering broker. As a marine fuels broker, the company handles all bunker supplies for Rickmers-Linie Hamburg.

Related Links:

Zeaborn acquires MCC Marine's bunker broking business

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