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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
23/09/19 11:17

Peter is back on the dry shipping map thanks to John

Singapore Marine’s Weervink acquired SwissMarine, which runs some 140 bulker vessels and handles some 120 million mt of cargo, supported by Golden Ocean’s Fredriksen

Peter Weervink has come back on the global shipping map as the owner of Bermuda-based SwissMarine SA, the dry bulk company that he had founded in 2001 and that he left in 2018 when he was Chief Executive Officer.

The ambitious entrepreneur, who last year had teamed up with the mighty Norwegian tycoon John Fredriksen to set up Singapore Marine Pte Ltd, after he sold his first born creature, has been backed by Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) also in this further initiative.

In fact GOGL agreed to invest more money in Singapore Marine in connection with the acquisition by the latter of the majority of assets and operations of Swiss Marine, the privately owned freight operator that transported over 120 million metric tons of cargo in 2018, running overall some 140 vessels either owned or on property. More precisely, including new commitments from GOGL of $9.5 million in equity and $0.7 million in the form of a shareholder loan, Singapore Marine has raised a $44 million in addition to the $105 million in available capital raised in April 2019.

Fredriksen, who in 2019 acquired 15% stakes through GOGL, has thus invested overall $19.5 million in equity and $10.7 million in shareholder loans (the first bunch invested in April this year).

“We are pleased assist Singapore Marine accelerate its growth plan and create scale through our most recent investment; the company will operate independently from GOGL since our participation is primarily financial. The latter company’s significant commercial capabilities and the depth of its market intelligence will be further enhanced by this new relationship” commented, from his operation base in Singapore, Thomas Semino, the Genoa-born top manager who is Chief Commercial Officer of Golden Ocean since November 2016 and also is a Director of Singapore Marine, and who has been previously Head of Dry Freight in Vitol S.A., Managing Director of Ocean Freight in Bunge S.A., after initial experiences at Cargill S.A. and Coeclerici Spa upon his graduation as a maritime lawyer.

SwissMarine, as it was revealed after the news leaks from the ‘shipping papers’ two years ago, had the commodity giant Glencore as its main shareholder with 47% and the rumoured Greek shipowner Victor Restis with almost the same share. The latter had been entangled with accusations of Iranian sanctions busting and financial allegations in Greece that were then dismissed not before costing him to be jailed for three months and the family and group bank accounts frozen. Apparently Restis decreased his stake, selling 20% of the company to fellow shareholders, and was left with 47%.

Macsteel International Holdings BV steel trader based in the Netherlands (a joint venture between MacSteel Holdings Luxembourg S.a.r.l. and steel giant ArcelorMittal) was also a shareholder.

With a staff of 50 employees, SwissMarine expanded into supra/handymax size vessels and since 2011 has established a shipowning arm investing in secondhand and newbuilding tonnage.

In the panamax and supramax sector, it centers on the inbound coal trades into the West Coast of South America and the coal export out of Colombia and the Baltic area mainly into Europe.

On the capesize sector, its focuses smaller bulks on the west coast of South America (outbound iron ore) as well as coal export out of Colombia.

In addition, being one of the largest worldwide carriers in this segment, it has strong presence in almost all trade flows carrying the world’s largest coal and iron ore users and producers. At present Swiss Marine has a global fleet 137 vessels (72 capesize, 18 panamax, 30 babycape, 17 supramax).

Among clients are paramount names worldwide famous of shippers and charterers such as Arcelor Mittal, Posco, EDF, Electrabel, Enel, Vale, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Total, Glencore, Vitol, Flame, Transammonia, Drummond, Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp, Metinvest, Koch.

GOGL, listed on NASDAQ and the Oslo Stock Exchange, was founded in 1996 in Bermuda and operates in the Capesize, Panamax and Supramax segments and runs (among those owned and those controlled) a fleet of 77 vessels including ships chartered in on long term time charter contracts.

The company is run by Ola Lorentzon, Chairman of the Board, a director since its incorporation, and John Fredriksen, who became a director at the time of completion of the merger between Golden Ocean and Knightsbridge.

In turn Fredriksen is Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Frontline Ltd., a Bermuda company listed on the NYSE and the Oslo Stock Exchange, served as Chairman of the Board, President and a director of Seadrill Limited since 2005, and established trusts for the family benefit which indirectly control Hemen Holding Ltd.

Singapore Marine Pte Ltd has been incorporated in March 2019 and has offices in Singapore, Geneva and – quite surprisingly – at the Swiss sky resort in Verbier, a place for celebrities of the star system, where Weernink resides, as well as a representative office in Tokyo.

Among some 20 vessels under control or owned, the company has acquired the former Italian owned bulkers Giuseppe Bottiglieri, Giovanni Bottiglieri, Marlene D'amato and Medi Tokyo.

The Dutch owner started bringing with him 5 former SwissMarine staff and raised 105 milllion USD being supported by the gotha of modern shipping: Golden Ocean, Ionic shipping, Saracakis Group, Nikolas Martinos (Thenamaris), Angus Paul (Goodbulk), John Michael Radziwill (CMTC and Goodbulk), Will Snellings (Marianasfund) and Veniamis family (Golden Union), who are all members of the Board of Singapore Marine.

Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Weernink can boast 11 years of experience at Cargill (from 1989 until 2000) before co-founding SwissMarine in 2001 with a group of former Cargill traders and board seats at a number of companies outside shipping in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In 2016 he became famous since he tried to sell his Manhattan penthouse suite, bought in 2012, which boasts a rooftop terrace with a 360° skyline views, at the amazing price of 17 million USD.


Angelo Scorza

TAG : Bulker