Colonial, Shippers to Face off over Pipeline Congestion
Executives from Colonial Pipeline, which runs the main fuel artery for the U.S. Atlantic Coast, will be questioned by customers and regulators on Wednesday after worsening congestion spawned secondary markets for space on the system, driving up costs for wholesale diesel and gasoline buyers. Refiners, retailers and trading houses have jockeyed to move barrels in an increasingly competitive race for space on the line since a 300,000 barrel per day expansion between 2011 and 2013 failed to ease traffic as shippers increased on the 2.5 million bpd system. Customers including Costco Wholesale Corp complain that so-called line space trading adds business costs, prompting a rare hearing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "We have very sophisticated customers.
Turkey Ferry Auction Attracts Multiple Bids
Private equity firm KKR & Co LP has attracted binding bids from Danish shipping company DFDS A/S and an alliance of PE players Esas Holding AS and Actera Partners LP for its Turkish ferry unit, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources. U.N. Ro-Ro Isletmeleri AS, KKR's sole investment in Turkey, has also received interest from local infrastructure investor Global Yatirim Holding AS, though the company had not submitted a bid, the news agency quoted people with knowledge of the sale as saying. KKR could not immediately be reached for comment. The Esas-Actera joint bid was "best-placed" to succeed, two sources told Bloomberg, adding that a buyer could be chosen before the end of July.
Pillarstone Italy Invests to Relaunch Premuda
Pillarstone Italy said on Friday it had finalized the acquisition of 100 percent of Italy's Premuda and would invest 50 million euros ($53.5 million) to support the relaunch of the troubled shipping company. Pillarstone Italy is a platform set up by U.S. private equity firm KKR to restructure ailing companies. The shipping industry is in an eight-year downturn due to slowing international trade. Pillarstone also said Popolare Emilia Romagna had joined rivals Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit and Carige in transferring to the platform credits towards Premuda. (Reporting by Valentina Za)
KKR Takes Majority Interest in OEG Offshore Group
KKR invests in growth companies servicing the global offshore energy sector, including investments in Acteon, RigNet, Avincis (Bond Aviation) and Weststar. OEG is headquartered in Aberdeen, UK with regional hubs in the main offshore oil and gas regions including Singapore, Australia, and USA and 20 further diversified stocking locations worldwide. OEG explains that it manufactures and leases specialist Cargo Carrying Units which are essential items used by oil and gas operators and their service providers to transport equipment and supplies to and from rigs and platforms as part of their day-to-day offshore operations. In addition, OEG…
Actera, Esas Buying UN Ro-Ro from KKR
Turkish investment firms Actera Group and Esas Holding have signed an agreement to acquire ferry operator UN Ro-Ro from private equity firm KKR & Co LP, the Turkish companies said in a statement on Tuesday. UN Ro-Ro, KKR's sole investment in Turkey, is among the largest such ferry operators in the Mediterranean basin, the statement said. Actera and Esas did not disclose any financial details of the deal. KKR bought 97.6 percent of UN Ro-Ro for 910 million euros ($1.22 billion) in 2007. Reporting by Ece Toksabay
KKR Unit Takes on Italian Shipping Company Debt From Banks
Pillarstone Italy, owned by U.S private equity firm KKR, will take on the bulk of the debt owed by Italy's Premuda to a group of banks, in a first move that could make Pillarstone one of the main shareholders of the shipping company. Under the deal, Banca Carige, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo will transfer around 250 million euros ($281 million) in loans to Pillarstone, making it the main creditor of Premuda, a spokesman for the KKR unit said on Friday. "Pillarstone will enter talks with other creditor banks to reach a final deal aimed at restructuring the whole debt," Premuda said, referring to its total net debt of 320 million euros at the end of 2015. It added that a part of the debt held by the KKR unit could be converted into shares.
Private Equity Knocks on Shipping's Door
Shipping is currently attracting a great deal of interest from investors in the private equity sector, according to UK-based accountants Moore Stephens, members of shipping trade organization Maritime London and as reported in its fortnightly 'London Matters'. In its Shipping Group newsletter 'Bottom Line' Moore Stephens notes that it has been estimated that at least USD7-bn of private equity funding could find its way into shipping this year. The shipping industry, however, still accounts for only a tiny percentage of overall private equity investment, so there is arguably scope for significantly more. The timing appears to be good. A shipping industry emerging from a protracted slump offers potentially exciting opportunities for private equity investors.
Maritime Speciality Lending Firm Launched by KKR
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.
NordLB Drops Plans to Sell Shipping Loans to KKR
German lender NordLB has abandoned efforts to sell a 1.3 billion euro ($1.5 billion) portfolio of shipping loans to KKR, Handelsblatt reported on Monday, citing a spokesman for NordLB. NordLB had said in April it hoped to complete a deal by the end of June. Neither NordLB nor KKR were immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan)
KKR & Borealis Maritime Acquire 9 Containerships
KKR and Borealis Maritime say they have acquired a portfolio of nine feeder container vessels in a sale process coordinated by Commerzbank. The vessels were previously owned by a number of German KG funds and were originally financed by Commerzbank. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. In 2013, KKR and Borealis Maritime formed a joint venture named Embarcadero Maritime to invest in distressed shipping assets. Since its formation and including the most recent acquisition…
KKR, Borealis Maritime JV acquires 9 container ships
KKR and Borealis Maritime today announced the acquisition of a portfolio of nine feeder container vessels in a sale process coordinated by Commerzbank. The vessels were previously owned by a number of German KG funds and were originally financed by Commerzbank. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The company informed that their partnership with KKR has been well timed to deploy capital during what they believe will prove to be a low cycle in the shipping industry.
Commerzbank Sells 18 Ships for $254.5mln
KKR & Co LP's Embarcadero Maritime unit will pay $254.5 million to buy 18 dry bulk and container ships from Commerzbank AG's Hanseatic Ship Asset Management GmbH, the companies said on Thursday. U.S. private equity firm KKR and London-based independent ship operator Borealis Maritime formed the Embarcadero Maritime joint venture in 2013 to invest in distressed shipping assets as several fleets struggled with overcapacity. The acquisition increases Borealis' fleet to 61 vessels, carrying containers, chemicals, and liquefied petroleum gas. To date, the joint venture has deployed more than $600 million to acquire assets. This acquisition includes 13 mid-size container vessels and 5 mid-size dry bulk vessels which Commerzbank took over from borrowers who defaulted on their loans.
Warning Sign: High-Yield Bonds Drive Energy Sector Growth
Energy companies have become a larger presence in the US high-yield bond market this year, relying on debt to fund capex as they expand exploration and production activity, but months of heavy issuance and weaker oil prices are taking their toll. Some recent bond deals have struggled to get across the line, only to end up still getting punished in secondary. Apollo's US$1.1bn LBO bond for Jupiter Resources, for example, has traded as low as 89 - even after coming to market last month with a five-point discount. "A lot of high-yield energy companies, particularly those developing shale plays, are spending more money than they are taking in," Patrick Faul, head of research at Calvert Investments, told IFR.
Bilden Joins HII Board of Directors
Philip M. Bilden has been elected to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) board of directors, effective November 7. Bilden retired last year as a co-founding member of the private equity firm HarbourVest Partners. He began his career in Boston in 1991 and relocated to Hong Kong in 1996 to establish the firm’s Asian subsidiary. Throughout his 25-year tenure at HarbourVest Partners, Bilden served in senior leadership roles in the firm’s global management, including the firm’s six-person executive committee responsible for governance.
NordLB to Shed Shipping Loans to KKR
German state-owned lender NordLB and KKR Credit said they had reached an agreement by which KKR Credit will acquire a $1.5 billion portfolio of shipping loans from NordLB jointly with an unspecified sovereign wealth fund. The portfolio of performing and non-performing loans will include up to 100 ships and will form the seed mandate for a portfolio management company that the buyers plan to set up. NordLB is one of several German banks seeking to cut its ship loan exposure as the container and dry bulk shipping industries struggle with their worst downturn due to a glut of ships, a faltering global economy and weaker consumer demand.
Investors to Acquire $1.5 bln Shipping Portfolio from NORD/LB
NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank and KKR Credit have reached an agreement by which, subject to completion of certain conditions precedents, KKR Credit, together with a sovereign wealth fund (the “Investors”), will acquire a portfolio of performing and non-performing shipping loans originated by NORD/LB. The initial portfolio with a total volume of about USD 1.5 billion will include up to 100 ships and would form the seed mandate for a shipping portfolio management company that the Investors will create simultaneously with the closing of this sale.
Harris Pye Sold to Joulon Group
The Harris Pye Engineering Group, global specialists in the provision of repairs, upgrades and conversions to the marine, offshore oil and gas, and associated onshore industrial sectors, has been acquired by the Joulon Group. Joulon was created in partnership with KKR, the global investment firm to acquire well established companies globally. The investment in Joulon comes from multiple funds managed or advised by KKR. Harris Pye has been acquired to primarily add capability in…
Crystal Nordic Sold to Essberger Tankers
Nordic Tankers and Embarcadero Maritime (a joint venture between Borealis Maritime and KKR) have signed and closed an agreement to sell the jointly held company Crystal Nordic to John T. Essberger in Hamburg, a leading owner and operator of chemical tankers in Europe. Crystal Nordic was established following the combination of Nordic Tankers’ inter-European stainless steel chemical tanker business with Crystal Pool in 2015. The parties have agreed not to disclose any financial information.
German Banks Count Cost of Global Shipping Crisis
German banks are struggling to recoup tens of billions of dollars of loans as a global shipping industry slump hits them hard. The lenders - among the biggest backers of shipowners over the past 20 years - are behind up to a quarter of the world's $400 billion of outstanding shipping loans, three shipping financiers told Reuters. This would make them collectively more exposed than banks from any other single country in terms of outstanding debt to the sector. These institutions…
Energy Sector Volatility Affects Middle Market M&A Activity
Market volatility for the petroleum sector provides a backdrop to an evolving Merger & Acquisitions environment for the Offshore Sector. In the 3Q edition of Maritime Professional, this series of articles examined the overall evolution of maritime and offshore M&A activity since 2010, tracing the flow of deals in the post-financial crisis era. In this edition, we take a closer look at relevant U.S. offshore energy industry deal flow and market movements as they relate to oil prices over time, and highlight some recent middle market transactions.
Chembulk Tankers Issues USD 200mln Bond
Chembulk Tankers announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Chembulk Holding LLC, has priced USD 200 million in senior secured bonds which will carry a coupon of 8.00% and be due in February 2023. The net proceeds from the bond offering will be used for refinancing of existing bank debt and general corporate purposes. In addition, this bond offering contains a tap issuance feature, where Chembulk can expand the issue amount at a future date to a maximum of USD 250 million, subject to standard issuance tests.
Investors Snap Up Shipping Loans, Reflecting Growing Confidence
Global private equity firm KKR has bought $150 million worth of shipping loans from two European banks amid a surge of interest in the industry as world trade in goods picks up along with the global economy. There have been a flurry of deals in recent months for ship finance loans, many of which are being put up for sale by banks under pressure to boost their capital in order to adhere to new, stricter industry legislation born of the financial crisis. The banks have suffered alongside the shipping firms they lent to, as the latter endured one of their worst downturns in decades.
DFDS to Buy U.N. Ro-Ro in $1.2 Bln Deal
Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS has agreed to buy Turkish freight shipping operator U.N. Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity firms Actera Group and Esas Holdings for 950 million euros ($1.17 billion) on a debt-free basis. It marks a change of course for the Turkish company, which had planned an initial public offering for up to 57.7 percent of the company, a draft prospectus showed last month. U.N. Ro-Ro operates five freight shipping routes between Turkey, Italy and France. DFDS said U.N.