Banks force Hansa Treuhand to slash fleet in half

European ship finance sources tell Splash that beleaguered Hansa Treuhand is being forced to slash its fleet in half.

One of the most high profile KG casualties, led by Hermann Ebel, finds itself at the centre of the tough stance German banks have adopted finally this year to the messy state of the nation’s merchant fleet.

“Of the 50 ships they control, they intend to reduce that to 25,” one banker told Splash today, adding that six of the KG units went bankrupt last week alone.

Hansa Treuhand’s mixed fleet is led by boxships and also includes four tankers.

Ebel co-founded Hansa Treuhand in 1983 in Hamburg. At its peak the company had 77 ships to its name. Ebel declared himself personally insolvent earlier this year. In September last year, Hansa Treuhand announced it would set about a drastic restructuring admitting that any turnaround in the shipping markets was years away.

Since the start of the there has been a much needed massive bank-led clear-out among the German fleet. Companies are being merged – others bankrupted – in a belated bid to clear the banks’ books.

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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