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Toisa whacked by the taxman for $304.55m

Just as he thought he might be through the worst of his Chapter 11 purgatory the taxman in the US has come calling, demanding Greek magnate Gregory Callimanopulos’s near bankrupt shipowning vehicle Toisa pay $304.55m in back taxes.

Toisa sought bankruptcy protection in New York on January 30 this year. The Chapter 11 filing covered Toisa and 23 subsidiaries which run a total of 19 ships – a mix of OSVs, tankers and bulkers. Also listed among Toisa’s assets are a pair of Gulfstream planes.

Since January 30 Toisa had been making progress, securing agreements with creditors as well as tying down a couple of charters. However, the Internal Revenue Service has delivered what could be a fatal blow to Callimanopulos’s shipping empire lodging a $304.55m claim at a bankruptcy court in Texas.

Callimanopulos, who turns 80 this year, took over from his father Pericles running the family shipping business in 1979. His life has included a few court skirmishes including a battle with auctioneers Christie’s and a 2011 harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee.

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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