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Oaktree develops financing model for smaller owners seeking secondhand bargains

A new ship finance vehicle has been created by Oaktree Capital aimed at helping smaller owners snap up secondhand tonnage.

Martin Hugger, managing director of the new company, Meerbaum Capital Solutions, told Splash today: “We will focus on small, high quality shipping companies, who have limited access to bank finance due to regulatory constraints that banks face these days.”

Hugger formerly headed Greek shipping for Commerzbank and has been in charge of Oceanbulk

Maritime’s German activities since 2013. Hugger is joined by Hamish Norton at Meerbaum. Norton, previously a New York investment banker, has been president of Petros Pappas’s Star Bulk since 2013 as well as holding the position of CFO at Oceanbulk Maritime.

“Our clients can provide finance for one ship or a fleet, in amounts ranging from $5m to $40m,” Norton said in a release sent to Splash.

“Our clients will finance mostly secondhand purchases of these owners that want to take advantage of current low price levels and will look into all major vessel types with liquid S&P markets,” Hugger said.
An initial focus will be on bareboat hire-purchase with other secured financing being decided a case-by-case basis.

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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