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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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09/10/17 11:19

Moby and Tirrenia ready to sell four ferries

Onorato Group is aiming at a sale&lease back contract with foreign investors to cash money from Moby Tommy, Janas, Bithia and Athara

The shipping group controlled by Vincenzo Onorato is currently evaluating if transferring foreign investors, in sale&leaseback, the Moby Tommy, Janas, Bithia and Athara, or alternatively few tugboats operating in Sardinia.

According to Debtwire, Vincenzo Onorato is evaluating the deal to improve 2Q financial performance and prevent breaking financial covenants set early this year by lending Banks on over 550 million Euro liabilities, which also included a cap on financial debt and recurring Ebitda ratio.

Debt ratio had to reach maximum 4.5 times the ratio in late June and, after a slight upgrade and a gain yielded from the sale of ferry Dimonios, by the end of  2017 the ratio will drop to 4 times.

The helm of the Blue Whale seemingly turned to an investment fund, however, after an accurate due diligence, as reported by Debtwire (Moby declined to comment), transaction failed because investor deemed the risk on potential assets claim was too high.

“Should the European Commission fine the company in relation to State subsidies (allocated ex State-owned Tirrrenia on which a proceeding is still pending, Ed.) or whether the company was unable to make sufficient cash, bond holders would be granted assets compensation" reports a statement.

According to insiders, the four ships picked out by Onorato would be the Moby Tommy of Moby and the Janas, Bithia and Athara of Tirrenia, four of the least valuable units in terms of garage and passengers capacity.

Based on current market value the deal should reach overall 200 million Euro.

Meanwhile, Moby's financial manager Marco Bariletti resigned and, for the time being, a new manager wasn't appointed.

While waiting to know 3Q results, the group helmed by Vincenzo Onorato closed 1Q recording 238.8 million revenues (+10% versus 2015) and 25.2 million Ebitda, although operating performance showed 8.8 millions negative figures (worse than 1.6 million loss recorded in 2016 first semester) and – 29.9 millions net financial results (versus -19 million attained last year).

This year's figures were particularly hurt by investments in the new rolling cargo line to Sicily and Malta and by fuel prices increase.

Moby recently asked Port System Authority of Western Ligurian sea to operate as port enterprise ex  art.16 law 84/1994 for trailers loading/discharges in Genoa port and the Authority restricted operation area nearby Stazione Marittima where Grandi Navi Veloci and Tirrenia already operate.

Nicola Capuzzo

TAG : Ferry
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