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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
11/09/17 08:53

Rickmers still alive and kicking

Consortium of Zeaborn Group and Bertram R.C. Rickmers signed a purchase agreement regarding the takeover of the Rickmers Group’s global ship management activities

A feasible way out to ensure a continuation of the failing Rickmers Group has been finally found, having taken just a few months after preliminary self-administration of the assets of Rickmers Holding AG was ordered to find a solution for continuing the business.

Rickmers Holding AG and other companies of Rickmers Group as sellers and a consortium comprising the Zeaborn Group and Hamburg based shipowner Bertram R.C. Rickmers as purchaser signed a purchase agreement regarding the takeover of Rickmers Group’s global ship management activities, with its main sites in Hamburg, Singapore and Cyprus.

The bidding consortium’s aim is to expand the ship management activities and to invest in further growth. The creditors’ committee of Rickmers Holding AG has already approved the transaction whose completion is subject to approval by Federal Cartel Office. A purchase price in the double-digit millions was agreed between the parties. As part of an overall solution, it is intended that the consortium also takes over remaining business units of Rickmers Group via an insolvency plan.

Rickmers Holding AG filed for insolvency on 1st June 2017 and since then ship and business operations of the Rickmers Group have been continued in self-administration on a stable basis.

On 5 September the Hamburg Local Court followed the company’s motion and opened insolvency proceedings against the assets of Rickmers Holding AG and ordered self-administration; this means that Executive Board remains in office during the proceedings and will continue to autonomously manage the Rickmers Group: Christoph Morgen from the law firm Brinkmann & Partners continues to assist the Executive Board in his capacity as CIO Chief Insolvency Officer. The Hamburg Local Court appointed Jens-Sören Schröder of Johlke Niethammer & Partners as trustee, as had already been done in the provisional proceedings.

A few days ago the completion of the winding up of Rickmers Maritime was announced: Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd., in its capacity as trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime, stated that final distribution to the unsecured creditors of the Trust, in accordance with the final distribution statement reviewed by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, was completed in mid August.

The equivalent payments, representing a recovery of about 12.1% to all unsecured creditors of the Trust, were made, so that there will be no further distributions or payments, cash or otherwise, to the unsecured creditors of the Trust, including the holders of the S$100 million 8.45 per cent notes due 2017.

Outstanding amount due on the Notes has been paid to the Notes Trustee, DB International Trust (Singapore) Pte Limited; this represents the final payment on the outstanding notes to the Notes holders and the Trust has been wound up as of 16 August 2017. Notes Trustee will be making arrangements with CDP to credit the relevant distribution amount to each Note holder based on the records of CDP. The winding up of the Trust has been completed and consequently, the units of the Trust and the Notes shall cease to exist; accordingly, the Notes were delisted from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited with effect from 30 August.   

Angelo Scorza