Hartmann in talks to restructure its anchor handling division

One of Germany’s largest shipowners is pushing ahead with dramatic changes to its business in the wake of slumping revenues. Leer-based Hartmann Group is looking to restructure its offshore division while banks have also just put a fleet of seven 2,500 teu KG boxships managed by Hartmann up for sale. Brokers report several buyers have expressed an interest in the box fleet.

The boxships were all built between 2004 and 2006 – and according to shipping database Equasis each one is owned by a single shipowning KG company, managed by Hartmann Dry Cargo. Brokers reckon Hartmann will have to offer very attractive prices to offload them.

“They’re good, solid ships, but a little thirsty and long in the tooth which makes financing them tricky,” one broker told Splash today, adding that with the flood of German boxships on the market at the moment the distinguishing feature needed to finalise any sale will come down to price.

A spokesperson for the German owner tried to distance her company from the sales, telling Splash: “The 2,500 teu container vessels are not owned by Hartmann, but in management with the company only. Although I cannot speak for the owners of course, it’s correct that these vessels are up for sale on initiative of the bank.”

A year ago Hartmann sold a multipurpose fleet, Feederlines, to a new Dutch outfit.

Meanwhile, Splash understands that Hartmann is looking at a financial restructuring of its offshore division with its fleet of 11 anchor handlers, all built in 2009 and 2010, running into financially tricky times.

“Please note that for the offshore segment a restructuring process is currently [being] discussed,” the same spokesperson told Splash.

The German shipping line was founded by Captain Alfred Hartmann in 1981. With a fleet of more than 150 vessels it is one of the biggest names in German shipping today. The diversified fleet comprises gas tankers, product tankers, bulk carriers, container vessels, multipurpose ships, offshore support vessels and cement carriers.

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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