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Navigare: The deal sourcing pipeline

Navigare Capital Partners, a Copenhagen-based alternative investment fund manager dedicated to investments in maritime assets, is gearing up for a new round of ship acquisitions with its Maritime Investment Fund II.

Navigare was founded in 2017 by Robert Mærsk Uggla and four partners to provide institutional investors with the opportunity to invest in maritime assets. The firm is governed and regulated by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.

Navigare is headed by managing partner Henrik Ramskov, who served many executive roles in the Danish shipping industry including stints as CEO of Thorco Shipping, CEO of Maersk Logistics and senior vice president of Maersk Tankers, before he co-founded Navigare.

According to Ramskov, Navigare invests in maritime assets with strong cashflows through a disciplined operating model with a high focus on risk management. The company could invest in ships through straight acquisitions or sale and leaseback arrangements to assist the seller to release cash.

The traditional European ship financing banks have massively withdrawn from the market in the past few years, while institutional investors have become more active when it comes to investing in ships. Pension funds, squeezed by low interest rates, are exploring investments in shipping in the hunt for higher returns.

“The traditional ship financing by the banks will likely continue to be at a lower level as we see already and the regulatory environment will increase the qualification requirement that banks are setting for those seeking ship financing,” Ramskov says.

Since its establishment three years ago, Navigare has invested in a diversified portfolio of ships, which is now made up of three bulkers, six tankers, nine containerships and one LNG carrier newbuilding.

Most notably, all of the company’s ship acquisitions in the past 12 months are focused on the container sector with five boxships bought.

The recent acquisition of the 13,800 teu containership Thalassa Pistis is the largest containership Navigare has bought to date.

“The rationale has been that in our deal sourcing pipeline those opportunities have provided the most interesting risk adjusted returns and with contracts that are fitting into our portfolio strategy,” Ramskov explains.

Navigare Capital Partners now acts the manager of Maritime Investment Fund, established by three Danish pension funds – PensionDanmark, Danica Pension and Lægernes Pension – to oversee ship investments.

Maritime Investment Fund I generated a total commitment of $450m and has now created a $1bn portfolio of vessels chartered on long-term contracts, while the three pension funds have pledged to invest over $300m in the second of the series, Maritime Investment Fund II.

Currently Maritime Investment Fund II is in the middle of its fund raising process and going forward Ramskov says Navigare will continue its diversified investment strategy, which will allow institutional investors to invest in a broad portfolio of maritime assets with long stable cash flows and the fund will keep looking at the segments where it has already made investments in the first round. The fund operates with an investment period of four years.

“We are continuing to develop our investment pipeline where we see a number of interesting deals, while at the same time fundraising for fund II,” Ramskov says.

This article first appeared in the most recent issue of Maritime CEO magazine. Splash readers can access the full magazine for free by clicking here.


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