Prisco files for bankruptcy

Arctic tanker specialist Primorsk International Shipping (Prisco) has become the latest line to fold. The company has filed a voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Prisco has been in negotiations with some Norwegian bondholders over a debt-for-equity swap for the past 12 months. The bondholders refused to accept Prisco’s terms and demanded repayment of $262.2m in loans. A Prisco bank account in London was seized last week by the lenders, leading to the Chapter 11 filing.

Prisco’s fleet expansion kicked off 18 months before Lehman Brothers collapsed. It has been selling its highly expensive ships since 2010.

Prisco is owned by Apington Investments, a British Virgin Islands holding company, which is controlled by Russian native Alexander Kirilichev.

Prisco’s Singapore and Nakhodka subsidiaries have not filed for bankruptcy.

Founded in 2004, Prisco’s current fleet numbers nine ice-class tankers.

An initial hearing in the Manhattan bankruptcy court is scheduled for tomorrow.


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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