One of the most famous names in the Asian feeder boxship market has changed hands. Schoeller Holdings has become the latest German shipowner to dispose of shipping assets, selling its majority shares in Singapore-headquartered Bengal Tiger Line (BTL) to an unidentified group of European financial investors.
The deal was arranged by Singapore financial consulting firm Transport Capital. Details of the transactions were not disclosed with Transport Capital’s founder Philip Clausius telling Splash today: “I can only confirm that BTL was sold and that we acted as exclusive financial advisors to the sellers. The buyers do not wish to be disclosed.” Clausius has been a non-executive director at BTL since January 2016.
BTL was incorporated in Hamburg in 1986 and transferred its registry and headquarters to Singapore in 2009. The company mainly operates around the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the Arabian Gulf, with chartered vessels, carrying up to 900,000 per year.
BTL has shrunk in recent years. Although its website claims a fleet of 33 ships, Alphaliner statistics show that it has a fleet of seven chartered ships, equating to a total of 9,936 teu. The other ships are ones that BTL co-loads on, but does not own or operate.
Following the disposal of BTL, Schoeller Holdings still controls Columbia Shipmanagement, United Product Tankers, and breakbulk carrier AAL.
Bill Smart, BTL’s long serving managing director, stressed that there was unlikely to be any great shake up at the line following the takeover.
“It’s purely a change of shareholders with day-to-day business much as usual. Management remains status quo as do likewise our services,” Smart told Splash today.