KKR has formed Maritime Finance Company, a new specialty $580-million company created to lend to the maritime industry & fill void left by exit of traditional lenders.
Led by former Helios Advisors partners Kristan Bodden and Gabriel Tolchinsky, Maritime Finance is an asset-based lender focused on maritime assets in the offshore oil field services and traditional shipping sectors. The Company will originate, structure, underwrite, invest in and distribute debt financings secured by high-quality maritime assets, including drilling rigs, development and production assets, subsea construction vessels and other traditional shipping assets.
Kristan Bodden, CEO of Maritime Finance and an investor in maritime assets for 13 years, stated: “This is an area that has historically been served by European banks. The current dislocation in the European banking sector has created a substantial funding gap in maritime asset financing. With Maritime Finance, we are capitalizing on an opportunity to fill an obvious void while at the same time aiming to provide compelling returns and attractive yields for our investors.”
According to AMA Capital Partners, over $220 billion of debt capital is required by the maritime sector through the end of 2014 and an enormous capital commitment is required to deliver the current maritime orderbook. Total offshore and shipping orderbooks are valued at $238 billion at cost and the lack of financing is impacting orderbook growth beyond 2016.
“This transaction is a perfect example of how KKR is delivering tailored solutions to clients through our capital markets and asset management platforms,” said Craig Farr, CEO of KFN and Global Head of KKR Capital Markets. “In this case, we are backing an investment team with a track record of strong performance to lend to an industry that is experiencing severe dislocation."