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Rickmers Trust to be wound up

Rickmers Trust to be wound up

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Singapore’s Rickmers Trust Management is to be wound up after it failed to thrash out a satisfactory deal with lead creditors HSH Nordbank from Germany and local DBS Bank.

The trust was unable to make a $196.7m principal repayment at the end of last month as well as a S$4.3m coupon payment to noteholders last November. It has also breached numerous loan covenants.

In a release, the trust stated today: “The Trustee-Manager is disappointed to have to announce that, after much effort placed on achieving a consensual restructuring among creditors, potential investors have not supported an injection of new equity into the Trust due to the challenges in obtaining, through a consensual process between parties, noteholders’ and other creditors’ consent for significant debt write-offs.”

It added: “In light of the aggravated illiquidity and lack of new investors, the Trustee-Manager opines that it is impracticable to continue the Trust and that it shall therefore be wound up.”

The trust revealed it is in advanced discussions with a potential buyer for its assets which may allow it to distribute cash recoveries upfront to unsecured creditors. However, unitholders are highly unlikely to recover any of their investments.

Rickmers Maritime, sponsored by Betram Rickmer’s Rickmers Group, was listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2007 when shipping trusts were all the rage. With a fleet of 16 panamax boxships, which have became near obsolete in the wake of the expanded Panama Canal opening last year, Rickmers first hit the headlines in terms of financial woes in August 2016 when it flagged the likelihood of layups as vessels redelivered from the spot market.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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