Keith Denholm looks set to return home to the UK after many years abroad, seeking new opportunities having left US-based trader Castleton Commodities International where he had been since 2011 during which time the company, formerly Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy, was bought and rebranded by DF Energy Acquisition.
Denholm, 51, part of the famous shipping clan whose eponymous family business dates backs to the 19th century, is raring to go with new shipping ventures. With a CV that includes stints leading the likes of Eagle Bulk Shipping, Pacific Carriers and Malaysian Bulk Carriers offers for CEO roles should be in the post shortly.
As well as being keen to get back into a leadership role at a dry bulk line, Denholm is also looking at raising capital to make the most of the attractive prices for bulker assets at the moment. He has contracted Arctic Securities and Fearnleys Securities to set about a fundraiser with an aim to invest in bulker tonnage, principally supramaxes and panamaxes following in the footsteps of other famous names in shipping who have made aggressive bulk moves of late such as Arne Blystad, Marc Saverys and Andreas Sohmen-Pao.
Denholm admits that secondhand dry bulk prices have increased considerably in recent months but still maintains there are still plenty of “opportune” buys, as he describes them, to be had in a sector that is only now finally emerging gingerly from a very protracted downturn.
Maritime CEO understands Denholm has already obtained interest from some traditional shipping names for this new venture. The Scot also intends to trade off his strong Japanese relationships to maximum effect.
The prospect of returning home after three decades away clearly excites Denholm, but he is quick to acknowledge his time away is what has made him who he is today within the shipping industry.
“I am enormously grateful for all the support and friendship I have experienced across all cultures and thankful for the opportunity to have worked within so many different cultures over the past 30 years since leaving the shores of the United Kingdom,” he says, adding: “While it is true we have progressed and become a more dynamic commodity with the help of strong analytical talent and financial trading tools, we must at the same time not forget the fact that we are still a people/relationships business as well.”