Zeaborn ventures further into container shipping with MPC Capital

Zeaborn is expanding its services in the container shipping industry through a new partnership with investment fund MPC Capital. Under the shipbroker brand Harper Petersen, the companies are merging their activities in containership chartering and commercial management in a newly found joint venture.

Zeaborn and MPC Capital are merging Harper Petersen with MPC Capital’s subsidiary Contchart, which is a large charterer of containerships with a fleet of 113 vessels.

The new joint Harper Petersen platform will be amongst the largest commercial containership managers globally, the companies state. It will manage more than 160 vessels with a total capacity of almost 500,000 TEU. The vessels range in size from 700 TEU to 8,500 TEU and more than 20 ships will be equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems, better known as scrubbers.

The new company is going to employ a team of 38 people. The management team will comprise of John Freydag, currently managing director of Contchart, and Arne Corleis, who is the managing director of Harper Petersen. Headquarters will remain in Hamburg, with offices in Singapore, Shanghai and The Netherlands.

“I am extremely pleased that we have succeeded in creating a viable and industry-leading player merging two already well-established partners. Together we are even stronger in providing excellent services to our charterer clients and tonnage providers,” comments Freydag. Corleis added that Contchart and Haprer Peterse have already been doing business together for many years. “We know each other well and it’s an excellent match,” he says.

The new Harper Petersen is planned to commence operations on 1 November 2019, depending on approval of the relevant cartel authorities.

Zeaborn gained control of Harper Petersen, which was originally founded in 1943, when it bought E.R. Schiffahrt at the beginning of 2018. Through that acquisition, Zeaborn expanded its global fleet with 61 container ships and 20 bulk carriers.

MPC Capital has been rapidly growing a large fleet of container feeder vessels through its subsidiary MPC Containerships, which was established in 2017. Much like Zeaborn did in the multipurpose shipping industry, the company used the downturn in container shipping to buy cheap second-hand tonnage from distressed shipping companies. MPC specifically targets the feeder market because it believes there will be an increased need for feedering now that deepsea container ships have surpassed the 20,000 TEU mark. MPC Containerships is now the largest client of Contchart.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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