Hong Kong: Harry Banga graces the cover of the debut issue of Maritime CEO magazine, launched today, in what is likely to be one of the shipping exclusives of the year. The former deputy head of the Noble Group is pumping $1bn into a new firm, Caravel Group, created with his sons, Guneet and Angad, that will concentrate on investment management activities, strategic asset ownership and the movement and storage of dry bulk raw materials.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Caravel is based on three pillars of business. The first is in investments – an asset management and private equity platform, the second is putting all of Caravel’s logistics operations – such as shipowning and shipmanagement – under one umbrella, while the final part is in commodities.
On shipowning, Banga says Caravel will look at the second hand market as well as readying a raft of newbuild contracts which are expected to be signed soon. A letter of intent on a new shipbuilding program has been signed, and is expected to become reality in mid-September. Caravel has already invested in a number of ships, the first being a couple of small boxships, though going forward the focus will be far more on the dry bulk side.
Banga tells Maritime CEO Caravel intends to purchase and own 10 to 12 ships over the next 12 months. However, he reveals: “Certain large private equity firms are keen to join us as we have the know-how, so if we joined forces then the fleet would be very large.”
On chartering, Banga says there is no real limit. “Noble had 250 ships,” he recounts. “We could have 100 ships in 18 months.”
The full interview can be accessed here.
As well as interviews with 14 other top shipowners the launch issue of Maritime CEO contains leading economic commentary covering important regions, such as India, penned by Barclays’ chief India economist. There’s market commentary from well-known analysts on the three main sectors, while every edition of the magazine aims to tackle an important issue facing the industry; this time it’s ecoships. Towards the back of the magazine is a more lifestyle section, orientated towards the busy maritime executive while at the back there is an acerbic column and results of a number of polls Maritime CEO has conducted in recent months.
The full issue of Maritime CEO magazine can be downloaded here. [12/09/13]
NEED TO KNOW: Caravel Group
Founded by the Banga family in Hong Kong with $1bn ready to spend, Caravel will focus on logistics, commodities and investments. Aims to own 10 to 12 ships within a year and charter in a triple digit number of vessels.