Private equity circles over Italy

Private equity circles over Italy

Italian shipping companies beware; vulture funds are hovering. Reuters reports that distressed debt investors are looking to buy shipping loans from Italian banks, following local legal changes to bankruptcy proceedings.

US hedge funds including Davidson Kempner, King Street Capital, York Capital and private equity firm Z Capital, are eyeing an estimated $13bn of shipping loans portfolios held by Italian banks, Reuters reports. Moreover, both KKR and Oaktree are circling too.

Reuters specifically mentioned Premuda’s $406m debts as one of the targets as well as Gestioni Armatoriali, Perseveranza, D’Alesio and Rizzo-Bottiglieri-De Carlini (RBD).

“Legal changes aimed at making it easier for creditors to recoup collateral if borrowers go bankrupt has spurred interest in the troubled Italian shipping industry,” Reuters reported.

The private equity charge to Italy is not just from the US. This past week Splash reported that Scerni sold a pair of LR1 tankers to a London-based private equity fund.

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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