Zeaborn takes full control of joint venture Zeamarine

Just eight months after forming one of the largest multipurpose vessel operators in the world, Bremen-based Zeaborn has bought out Intermarine’s major shareholder and taken full control of joint venture Zeamarine.

Zeaborn has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining ownership interests in Zeamarine held by New Mountain Capital, a private investment firm and the major shareholder of Intermarine. Zeaborn and Intermarine did not communicate the exact shareholder structure when Zeamarine was officially formed, but according to analyst firm Dynamar Zeaborn already owned 75% of the joint venture.

Following the buy-out, CEO Andre Grikitis, who also was the former CEO of Intermarine and worked with the company for over 25 years, has decided to step down “to spend more time with his family and to pursue other business ventures,” Zeamarine states. Zeaborn’s managing partner Ove Meyer will take over as CEO of Zeamarine and work with the existing top management team around Dominik Stehle (CCO), Nicki Schumacher (COO) and Michael Dumas (CFO) on the global expansion of the company.

Fourth largest

Zeamarine was officially formed in August 2018, after Zeaborn and Intermarine gained regulatory approval to join forces and create the fourth largest multipurpose and heavy-lift shipping company in the world, according to a recent analysis of consultancy firm Dynamar.

The ambition of the JV, which owned 75 ships at the time of the launch, was to have a fleet of 100 vessels by early 2019, but that goal has yet to be achieved. Zeamarine currently employs 300 people and a fleet of 90 multipurpose heavy lift vessels with capacities ranging between 6,300 and 30,000 dwt. The largest ships, obtained through the merger with Intermarine, have a combined lifting capacity of up to 1,400 metric tons

In a recent interview with Shippingwatch, Ove Meyer did hint at further fleet expansion. According to the new Zeamarine CEO, about 30% of the world’s multi-purpose fleet is not able to pay their debts. He expects these assets, currently held by banks, are ready to be traded off.

The Zeaborn Group was founded by Kurt Zech together with Ove Meyer and Jan Hendrik Többe in 2013. Since its inception, the company has been growing rapidly by buying distressed, second-hand tonnage and through numerous mergers and acquisitions like the joint venture with Intermarine and the acquisition of Rickmers-Linie.

The most recent transaction in Zeaborn’s fast rise to the top is again subject to approval from the antitrust authorities.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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