Economou faces another legal headache as investor questions Ocean Rig’s restructuring

Economou faces another legal headache as investor questions Ocean Rig’s restructuring

With lawsuits racking up against one of his firms DryShips, George Economou is also facing a legal challenge at his offshore firm, Ocean Rig.

Ocean Rig sought bankruptcy protection this March. One New York lawyer, Tally Wiener, has chosen to contest Ocean Rig’s Chapter 15 process. Wiener, who invested in Ocean Rig stock, has filed an objection to the relief Ocean Rig is seeking in the US, in aid of its Cayman Islands restructuring proceedings.

Ocean Rig’s Cayman liquidators need to prove Ocean Rig and its three affiliates seeking relief in the US in aid of their Cayman proceedings have either a center on main interests (COMI) or establishment in the Cayman Islands. An establishment is a place of operations in which a company carries out non-transitory economic activity. A COMI assessment includes location of principal assets, which Wiener has sought to track down using AIS data to find where Ocean Rig’s fleet of drillships and semi-submersible have been located since the company filed for bankruptcy protection in late March.

Lawyers representing Ocean Rig have dismissed the claims made by Wiener, but she is determined to pursue the matter further.

“If the restructuring succeeds, shareholders will get only 0.02% of the shares on the back end, which is going to seriously suck for a lot of people. So for my part I’d like people to at least understand their position as shareholders,” Wiener told Splash today.

Economou, one of Greece’s most famous names in shipping, is also feeling the heat from investors for his financial manoueverings at DryShips. More than 10 law firms have announced class action law suits against the company since Friday, alleging it violated federal securities laws.

Meanwhile, at the Manhattan Supreme Court Economou has been dragged into another more personal case. His ex-girlfriend, Angela Ismailos, has launched a suit against the Greek tycoon claiming he cheated her out of a $240m settlement. Ismailos, who first met Economou in 1994, claims she helped him make his fortune and become the famous shipping magnate he is today.

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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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Knud Nielsen
    July 20, 2017 at 10:20 am

    “The famous ship magnate he is today”, that’s funny – it should read “the famous corrupt con-artist he is today”.

  2. Avatar
    TF
    July 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    It’s funny what short memories shipping investors have (or is it that they don’t do their due diligence?). Does nobody remember Alpha Shipping?