Economou takes full control of Heidmar, installs Khanna as CEO

George Economou has struck a deal with Morgan Stanley to acquire the investment company’s stake in pool operator and services company Heidmar, taking full ownership under publicly listed entity DryShips.

DryShips is paying around $17m for the stake, which includes JP Morgan’s 49.8% stake and a 0.4% management stake. The deal looks to be extremely attractive, considering the company holds more cash than the price of the shares.

Economou has installed board member Pankaj Khanna as the company’s new CEO, replacing James Pippard.

Khanna was the architect behind Economou’s $2.7bn sale of Ocean Rig to Transocean, although his remit for Heidmar is very different. Based in London, Khanna’s remit will be to grow the existing tanker pool as well as develop new pools and service lines. He’s also been tasked to improve the performance of the company to make it the best performing in the sector.

“We are excited to complete the acquisition of 100% of Heidmar and to simplify its ownership structure that will allow us to develop Heidmar to its full potential as an independent business line,” Economou said.

It is understood that Heidmar will be run as a totally independent company from DryShips.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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