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Private equity to snap up bust Ultrapetrol’s river unit

Argentina’s Ultrapetrol has got the go ahead from a US bankruptcy court to embark on a quick chapter 11, with South American private equity firm Southern Cross Group tipped to acquire most of the business.

Under Ultrapetrol’s resturcuting plan, Southern Cross subsidiary Sparrow Capital Investments would acquire Ultrapetrol’s largest business – its river barge unit – for $73m.

Ultrapetrol’s river business has 685 barges and the Punta Alvear shipyard in Argentina.

Ultrapetrol’s other assets include OSVs, product tankers and boxships. It filed for chapter 11 last week with debts of more than $500m.

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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