Naples-based RBD Armatori has sent a message to Pillarstone after the KKR-backed turnaround fund defined as a “technical step” the decision to send the shipping firm into bankruptcy protection.
The RBD message, seen by Splash, states: “Pillarstone in some official documents and also according on what was reported by the press always said its final aim was to restore and relaunch the business of the companies they invest in, thus not following just a speculative approach taking to a liquidation of the assets”.
On that basis, the Giuseppe Mauro Rizzo-lead company said it considered Pillarstone’s action “an opportunity for our business” and wished to explore “any possible solution for the restructuring in order to preserve activities”.
However, RBD Armatori does not support the choice taken from the fund to ask for bankruptcy protection, stating: “Filing for bankruptcy at the current stage was not a ‘technical step’ but rather an attempt to follow a procedure bound to selling the fleet in the end.”
The statement from the Rizzo Bottiglieri De Carlini families added in conclusion that “the top management reaffirms its interest to preserve the integrity of the company and the business together with Pillarstone, which has not presented a restructuring plan to date yet, or with any other relevant judicial or administrative authority in order to consider also the way of a sort of outside administration for RBD.”
Pillastone’s move also triggered the Italian shipowners’ association Confitarma outgoing chairman Emanuele Grimaldi to write a letter to the banks complaining about not respecting a recent agreement reached. Lenders undertook to share with owners any restructuring plans or moves to sell non-performing loans to speculative funds.