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PB Tankers survives with Pillarstone swooping for four of its tankers

Pillarstone Italy is further increasing its fleet of vessels under the control of its fund, Finav. The latest deal was signed yesterday with PB Tankers, sealing the Rome owner’s $100m debt restructuring plan with lenders Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo. As part of the deal, PB Tankers, controlled by the Barbaro family, had to transfer four of its five MR tankers to Pillarstone, which now has more than $500m of assets from nine Italian shipowners in its turnaround fund, which also features the participation of some banks.

The last four tankers to be transferred from PB Tankers to Pillarstone will be managed by Premuda which is expected to see its fleet soaring to 39 units before the end of this year. Thanks to this restructuring plan under Italy’s insolvency laws, PB Tankers will maintain one MR tanker, one FPSO and will be able to go on operating.

PB Tankers filed for court protection in Italy in June 2019 following the action taken by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to add the company and its six vessels to the sanctions list in relation to trade with Venezuela.

Gaudenzio Bonaldo Gregori, CEO of Pillarstone Italy, said: “This deal further consolidates the role of our Finav fund in the local shipping market. We operate maintaining the ships under the Italian flag, investing with a long term view and an industrial approach in order to become more and more efficient and competitive on the global markets.”

Gianni Barbaro, member of the board of the holding company Pietro Barbaro, further added: “The agreement makes a significant contribution to the restructuring process of PB Tankers, whose activity was blocked last year and jeopardised by the temporary, unjustified inclusion on the list of sanctioned OFAC entities. PB Tankers can now restore its economic and financial condition by guaranteeing its business continuity.”

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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