An investment trust lending to privately-owned shipping companies has set out its stall for a London IPO.
Blue Ocean Maritime Income is looking to raise $250m from the float, claiming it can generate annual returns of between 8-10%.
The company’s investments will be overseen by Svein Engh, managing director of EnTrust Permal, a hedge fund and alternative investment manager that is part of the Legg Mason group.
Blue Ocean said its aim is to replace the hole left by traditional ship finance banks since the global financial crisis. It has already deployed over $300m since September 2016, financing 55 vessels
Engh commented in a release yesterday: “Shipping is a large and diverse industry, which creates many significant investment opportunities. While we continue to see capital inflow to direct lending vehicles and investment funds in sectors such as real estate or infrastructure, the maritime financing sector is in a different position; values are low, and the competition is limited, resulting in attractive risk-adjusted yield opportunities.
“The banking dislocation is driving our opportunity and we are stepping into the area where banks used to be very active but are now restricted due to Basel regulations and other factors. As a non-bank lender, we can construct our portfolio in a countercyclical manner in the privately-owned segment of the shipping market. We are completely focused on the industry, with our team of shipping experts having a combined 60 years of experience.”