Investment Review — Shipping VC Firm Launched (7 Dec 2018)

euros shipping investmentHong Kong bulk carrier firm, Pacific Basin, has con­cluded a US$ 40m loan facility with Danish Ship Finance, it announced last week. The facility, in­tended for seven years duration, is an extension of the company’s existing loan agreement with DSF and will be secured by the same 19 ships under the initial facility. Pacific Basin says that the new facility was achieved at a competitive interest rate and will go to improve the company’s financial flexibility.

Scorpio Bulkers and Tankers have upgraded their plans for extensive installation of scrubbers across their fleets with the stated intention of “practically all” of its owned and chartered Kamsarmax and Ultramax ships. Scorpio Bulkers fleet amounts to 56 owned and chartered vessels of which 19 are Kam­sarmaxes and 37 are Ultramaxes. With initial plans for open-loop scrubbers, eventually to be upgraded up to closed-loop units, overall investment will add up to US$ 42.4m for Scorpio Bulkers (28 vessels) and US$ 79.6m for Scorpio Tankers (52 vessels).

Having found shipping as one of the last frontiers of digitalisation, Hamburg-based TecPier has launched as an investment organisation to discover start-ups to support with funding, operational resources and networking with established industrial partners in the maritime sector. The company plans to invest mainly in start-ups in the pre-seed and seed phases to guide young companies in their early develop­ment phase. TecPier has formed partnerships with Zeaborn Group, BitStone Capital and Inno Real with shareholders in VC and shipping. Founding partner, Johannes Winkler, says TecPier has found over 150 start-ups with real potential for investment and de­velopment in the arena of shipping digitalisation.

Secondhand bulkers remain very undervalued, says Martin Rowe, head of Clarksons Platou, given their earnings potential. The current price for a ten-year-old Capesize, said Rowe at a maritime conference in Hong Kong, is some 30-50% of what it should be.

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