EuropeMaritime CEO

Blue Wall: Traditional owners can work with private equity

Blue Wall, one of Greece’s fastest growing shipowners is one of 17 shipowners profiled in the latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine, which has just been released.
Blue Wall Shipping has spent $220m over the past 18 months building up a modern dry bulk fleet. The firm’s ceo, George Gourdomichalis, says he’s can see light at the end of dry bulk’s long and dark tunnel.
“Whereas freight markets remain challenging and our outlook for the short term is very cautious, we remain long term optimistic for our subsector and we have built a fleet with a capital structure able to withstand the short term volatility within the industry’s longer term upwardly sloping curve,” he says.
Blue Wall is an investment holding company funded by an experienced management team together with institutional investors.
“With direct investments in shipping assets, our commitment to the industry is long term and built on experiene and flexibility,” the Greek insists. He says that the company recognised the increasingly capital intensive nature of the shipping industry with a changing pattern of debt and equity funding which led Blue Wall to opt to establish a corporate structure funded by institutional investors being a mix of multi-strategy hedge funds, private equity firms and large family offices to create a platform with a solid capital structure and, he says, superior corporate governance.
“The company is able to tap the capital markets and be in a position to execute our strategy of quality asset acquisitions providing accretive value to the shareholders and taking advantage of the opportunities arising in these challenging times,” Gourdomichalis says.
The traditional shipowner/financial investor partnership is working well in the case of Blue Wall, the Greek national claims.
“Partnering with institutional investors has provided the company with not only a strong balance sheet and superior corporate governance but also allowed us to develop sophisticated newbuilding projects and create synergies in both the commercial side of the business, but also opened up the doors to debt providers who would otherwise not be in a position to provide funding for our projects,” emphasises Gourdomichalis.
The Blue Wall ceo is also managing director of Phoenix Shipping & Trading, a shipmanagement firm based in Piraeus, managing a fleet of nine dry bulk vessels ranging from handysize up to panamax and with four handymax bulk carriers under construction in China.
Gourdomichalis is one of 17 owners interviewed in the latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine which readers can access for free by clicking here.  [08/12/14]

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