Ernst Russ sells Marenave stake to Balaton

Citing a difference of opinion with a key shareholder Germany’s Ernst Russ has ditched its holding in struggling compatriot Marenave Schiffahrts, leading to yet another ownership handover for the Hamburg line.

“The differing views of both major shareholders, Ernst Russ Group and Deutsche Balaton AG, regarding the business model and the strategic realignment of Marenave Schiffahrts AG, made the constructive and target-orientated implementation, required for the company, difficult,” Ernst Russ said in a statement.

This January Balaton built up a 21.34% stake in Marenave. Following its buyout of Ernst Russ’s holding, Balaton is now pushing through with a mandatory takeover of Marenave. Balaton has said it has no plans to restart the Marenave fleet, instead holding the brand as a listed shell company for the time being.

“The Ernst Russ Group will continue to systematically pursue its strategy and drive forward promising alternatives with strategic partnerships in the maritime sector,” Ernst Russ stated.

The last remains of Marenave’s fleet were sold off in September last year.

Marenave was founded in 2006 by König & Cie and HSH Nordbank although it has since changed hands three times. Its restructuring over the past couple of years saw a fight for control by big German shipping names Offen and Ernst Russ.

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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