Rickmers Group thrown a lifebelt

HAMBURG: The Zeaborn Group and Hamburg shipowner Bertram Rickmers are to acquire the Rickmers Group’s global ship management business, subject to approval from Germany’s federal cartel office.

The creditors’ committee of Rickmers Holding has already approved the purchase price “in the double-digit millions”.

The Rickmers Group declared insolvency in June following the rejection by creditor HSH Nordbank of a proposed financial restructuring. Since then the ship and business operations have continued under self-administration. Earlier this month the Hamburg Local Court began insolvency proceedings against the assets of Rickmers Holding and ordered self-administration.

In August, Zeaborn purchased five 30,000dwt ‘Superflex Heavy Lift’ vessels from Rickmers Holding to join a sixth vessel acquired in April when Zeaborn completed its takeover of Rickmers-Line.

The two partners said they aim to expand Rickmers’ ship management activities with its main offices in Hamburg, Singapore and Cyprus, and take over the remaining business units of the Rickmers Group via an insolvency plan.

Rickmers-Line operates nine heavylift vessels built between 2002 and 2004 and Zeaborn now has title to six. Each has four cranes with a combined lifting capacity of 640 tons and all are equipped with intermediate decks for loading optimization.

Bremen-based Zeaborn operates a combined fleet of 50 multi-purpose ships with a deadweight ranging from 7,500 to 30,000 tonnes and a combined lifting capacity of up to 700 tons.

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