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Pillarstone moves to take control of RBD Armatori

Pillarstone Italy is poised to become main shareholder of the Naples-based shipping firm RBD Armatori.

The KKR-controlled turnaround fund has just become the largest creditor of the company after purchasing non-performing-loans previously owned by Banco di Napoli and Monte Paschi Siena totalling €246m ($280m) and €314m ($358m) respectively.

Giuseppe Mauro Rizzo, CEO of RBD Armatori, commeting on the deal told Splash: “We take note of the deal just completed by Pillarstone with the banks and we look at this purchase with positive approach as we think it may represents an opportunity for our business.”

In addition to Pillarstone, RBD Armatori’s main creditors are Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Cariparma and BPER bank.

“We are ready to consider, together with the new creditor and the others which had expressed their vote in favour of the business continuity before, any possible solution for the restructuring in order to preserve a shipping company which has been operating on the market for 160 years and it’s still today one of the most important in Italy,” Rizzo added.

The company’s financial exposure with the banks exceeds $700m while its overall financial exposure is over $1bn.

A few weeks ago the latest version of RBD Armatori’s rescue plan was rejected by creditors, mostly down to Intesa Sanpaolo and MPS the two banks which have now offloaded their loans to Pillarstone.

As was the case with another Italian owner Premuda, Pillarstone is likely to work on a debt restructuring proposal with consequent share capital increase.

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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