Rickmers-Linie Sold to ZEABORN
Marking further consolidation in the breakbulk and project cargo sector, Rickmers Group said it has sold its business operations of Rickmers-Linie to ZEABORN.
Rickmers-Linie GmbH & Cie. KG and MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting GmbH & Cie. KG, which are both fully-owned by Rickmers Holding AG, reached agreement to sell their respective operating businesses to ZEABORN Chartering GmbH & Co. KG on February 7, 2017.
The planned sale, subject to the approval of the financing banks of the Rickmers Group and subject to anti-trust authorities, involves the entire operating business of Rickmers-Linie GmbH & Cie. KG as shipping line and the entire operating business of MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting GmbH & Cie. KG, which focuses on bunker purchasing and chartering brokerage for the segment. The transaction also covers the employees, assets, subsidiaries and branch offices of Rickmers-Linie GmbH & Cie. KG and current commercial contracts. NPC Projects A/S, acquired in July 2016 by Rickmers-Linie GmbH & Cie. KG, is also included in this transaction. The purchaser is to acquire the right to use the brand names Rickmers-Linie and Rickmers-Line, however only within the scope of activity of the business to be acquired. On closing the planned transaction the sellers are to pay compensation in the single-digit million-euro range.
According to the Rickmers Group, the sale of the Rickmers-Linie business segment has no impact on the workforce, shipping routes and Rickmers-Linie tonnage under long-term charter. Employees of this business segment will continue to work at the offices used by the Rickmers Group on Neumühlen, Hamburg, Germany for the time being. Under the terms of the planned transaction, Bertram R.C. Rickmers is to hold a minority stake in ZEABORN Chartering GmbH & Co. KG via a company he holds privately.
"With the growth of our fleet, we were faced with the challenge of building a global organization. Everyone who knows the shipping industry knows that this is a very challenging task in our time. In this respect, it’s a fortune for our development that Rickmers-Linie was available at the right time, "explains Jan Hendrik Többe, Managing Partner of ZEABORN.
Together, Zeaborn and Rickmers-Linie (with NPC and MCC) have a team of close to 200 employees and a combined fleet of about 50 multi-purpose vessels, with deadweight capacities (dwat) between 7,500 and 30,000 metric tons, and a combined lifting capacity of up to 700 metric tons.
"Just like us, Rickmers-Linie and NPC Projects are concentrating on the transport of break bulk, heavy lifts and project cargoes. They have an excellent reputation, have close, long-term customer relationships and stand for reliability, quality, innovation and technical competence. With its line-up services and the tramp business of NPC, Rickmers-Linie connects the most important business centers in the world. In this unique combination, we are now able to offer our customers even more tailor-made transport solutions,” said Ove Meyer, who is also Managing Partner of ZEABORN.
"Rickmers-Linie gets new powerful shareholders who want to expand their activities in the MPP segment. With ZEABORN, we have the right partners to play an active part in the consolidation of the heavy and MPP sector in a currently difficult market situation, and to offer our customers excellent service, safety and reliability on an economically stable basis,” said Ulrich Ulrichs, CEO of Rickmers-Linie.
With the takeover of the Rickmers-Linie offices in Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the USA, as well as the extensive agency network, the ZEABORN companies now have a global setup with a strong regional presence and local customer service. Mr Bertram R.C. Rickmers will be privately involved as a minority shareholder in the new owner company of the sold business activities.
The Rickmers Group said it will focus in future on the activities of its Maritime Assets and Maritime Services business segments.