Pillarstone eyes RBD Armatori

Pillarstone eyes RBD Armatori

Naples-based RBD Armatori may be the second deal selected by Pillarstone in the Italian shipping market. The turnaround fund created by private equity giant KKR declined to comment on the issue but several sources in Italy tell Splash that the shipping company owned by the Rizzo Bottiglieri De Carlini family is on the financial investor’s ‘watch list’ in order to repeat the same operation started with Premuda.

In practice, Pillarstone is looking at taking on distressed assets and undertaking a permanent corporate restructuring. Pillarstone Italy’s partner, Gaudenzio Bonaldo Gregori, a few months ago also talked about making Premuda a platform which aggregates together further assets coming from other restructuring processes and new investments in Italy and abroad.

Pillarstone is pondering whether to present to RBD’s creditors a restructuring plan in competition with the one proposed by the Rizzo family and due to be voted on next March 1, 2017.

RBD Armatori’s overall financial exposure with banks amounts at $743m and includes Italian lenders Monte Paschi Siena, Intesa Sanpaolo, Centrobanca, Gruppo Bper and Cariparma.

According to the last version of the company’s rescue plan, four post-panamax and three panamax bulk carriers are due to be sold to repay debts with banks, while a further three capesize bulk carriers will be transferred to a new company, 100% owned by RBD.

The RBD news follows hot on the heels of Jens Martin Jensen, formerly John Fredriksen’s right hand man, being appointed a partner at Pillarstone earlier this month in a bid to speed up and expand the scope of the KKR subsidiary’s European shipping acquisitions.

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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