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Oaktree to drop Hansa Heavy Lift

The Hamburg MPP and project shipping company Hansa Heavy Lift, daughter of the financial investor Oaktree, is apparently at an end. As with the predecessor, Beluga Shipping threatens the settlement.

According to information from HANSA , the decision was made by the US investor. At today’s employee meeting, the employees were informed about the bankruptcy application.

The future of the carrier has been speculated for years, among other things, because the comparatively large heavylift ships of the P series have become increasingly difficult to place on the market. Deficiencies in terms of efficiency and stability have been talked about again and again. Now the owner seems to have lost patience.

Last Thursday, according to insiders, all payments from the shipping company to suppliers, agents and partners had been discontinued. The reason for the move was evidently the arrest of the “HHL Elbe”, which is being detained in Rouen under pressure from a bunker supplier who is awaiting payment of his bill. The freighter last sailed for Ocean 7 Projects.

Hansa Heavy Lift was founded in 2011 as the successor to Beluga. The investor Oaktree had already entered a few years earlier and had forced Beluga founder Niels Stolberg from the company and sued. Stolberg was now sentenced to three and a half years in prison for fraud, credit fraud, unfaithfulness and accounting fraud, but he and the prosecutor’s office went under review.

Since 2011, HHL has wanted to gain a foothold in the heavylift market with a shrunken fleet, rather than in the classic MPP segment. But the global shipping crisis led to ever greater problems. Recently, three more ships were withdrawn at the urging of the financing banks, eleven were still employed in the fleet. According to HANSA information, Commerzbank is on board for four freighters and NordLB for at least one other.

A restructuring of the fleet had last failed in the spring. At the time, Oaktree should have had the opportunity to buy the ships and operate more cost-effectively free of bank obligations. But the transaction did not materialize. An attached search for new or further investors was also unsuccessful. The timing of an exit from Oaktree would not be unusual from the point of view of the financial market, seven to ten years is considered a relatively common period until an investment is terminated.

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