Daiichi Chuo seeks US court protection

Daiichi Chuo seeks US court protection

Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha has sought bankruptcy protection in the US as well as at home in Japan, it emerged yesterday.

Japan’s fifth largest line confirmed Splash’s exclusive yesterday by seeking bankruptcy protection in both Tokyo and New York, the company’s senior management adamant that it can restructure its way out of its $1.5bn debts.

In addition to filing for Japan’s equivalent of chapter 11 Tuesday, Daiichi Chuo also filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy protection—the part of the bankruptcy code covering international insolvencies—at the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Many shipping executives with chartering connections to Daiichi Chuo are convinced that the line will bounce back, albeit in a streamlined manner.

“This is unlikely to be the end for Daiichi, they will get help from others in Tokyo and we’ll see them back in a year or two,” one Asian shipowner told Splash on the condition of anonymity.

The line’s president, Masakazu Yakushiji, said yesterday: “In the future, under the supervision of the court and trustees, we will commit ourselves to regenerating the business.”

Splash first broke the news of Daiichi Chuo’s impending bankruptcy last week. Daiichi Chuo, with some 170 ships in its fleet, had suffered four consecutive years of losses and is expected to post losses of more than $100m this year.

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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