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Private equity swoops for RBD Armatori

Splash understands a vehicle connected to private equity fund Reuben Brothers has made an offer to buy out bust Italian shipping line RBD Armatori. As a result a planned auction of the RBD Armatori fleet, scheduled for February 22, is likely to be put on hold.

An offer has been sent to the RBD Armatori liquidators to purchase all the assets owned by the company, including the fleet and other real estate properties, for a total amount of €270m ($305m).

The fleet, consisting of 13 vessels made up of six aframax tankers, three capesize and four post-panamax bulk carriers, together with relevant seafarers, personnel ashore and other assets, resources and charter contracts, were set to be sold at auction later this month with a starting price set at €167m ($190m). The hotel La Palma based in Capri was also set to be auctioned with a starting price of €35m ($40m). RBD Armatori was ruled bankrupt in January 2018.

According to VesselsValue the RBD Armatori fleet current value today stands at €248m ($282m).

The local Court of Torre Annunziata in Naples is now considering the offer received and will have to take a decision in the next few days whether to accept or reject the proposal.

Private equity funds have swooped for many Italian fleets in recent years including Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company, Premuda, Gestioni Armatoriali, Finaval, D’Alesio, Morfini and Perseveranza.

According to statistics from law firm Watson Farley & Williams in Italy $1.6bn of non-performing-loans have already been dismissed while a further $1bn are currently on sale and expected to be sold this year.

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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