AsiaDry Cargo

Spurned Daiichi Chuo seeks extra time to find supporters

With dry bulk plummeting to record depths no one is willing to come to the rescue of Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha forcing the Japanese line to postpone submitting a rehabilitation plan which was due today.

Japanese financial newswire Nikkei reports Daiichi Chuo has been shopping around for sponsors, asking fellow shipowners, shipbuilders and creditors for support with very limited positive feedback. It will now seek to postpone revealing its rehabilitation plans to the Tokyo District Court by up to two months.

It is understood one possible sponsor for the ailing line came from overseas, which was spurned. Its largest backer in recent years – and substantial shareholder, Mitsui OSK Lines has moved to distance itself from Daiichi Chuo having racked up large debts in fiscal 2015 thanks to its links to the bulker operator. Instead, Daiichi Chuo is now heading to Shikoku, around the Imabari yard, to a cluster of owners it is close with to form some rescue package.

When Daiichi Chuo filed for bankruptcy its liabilities stood at $1.46bn, something Nikkei is now warning could balloon to more than $3bn. It is taking on many penalties from cancelling charter agreements.

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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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