Zeamarine in “period of re-establishment”
Zeamarine has responded to media reports following a managerial change at the company which sees insolvency expert Sven Lundehn take the position as chair of the board. Lundehn has been called in to oversee “a period of re-establishment and strategic alignment within the senior management team.”
In a brief statement e-mailed to PCJ, spokesperson Holger Römer says: “Contrary to the sentiment of the articles written, we can provide assurance that our company is performing and shareholders are committed with their support for the continuation of our business.”
According to the company, restructuring expert Sven Lundehn has been brought in as managing director to re-establish the company and align the business strategy with the vision of the senior management. “The great experience of Mr. Lundehn along with the support of shareholders will solidify our establishment for future development”, Römer says.
The appointment of Lundehn has raised great concerns as it was not clear what his mandate would be. Lundehn is an insolvency expert of Bremen-based consultancy firm Alldatax. He was directly involved in the unwinding of Beluga Shipping when it went bankrupt in 2011.
Managing partner and co-founder Jan Hendrik Többe has left the company, following co-founder Ove Meyer who already left the company in July this year. CCO Dominik Stehle reportedly also left citing differences in strategic views for the company.
Backed by entrepreneur Kurt Zech, Zeamarine was initially founded as Zeaborn by Többe and Meyer in 2013. The shipping company rapidly grew its fleet buying distressed second-hand tonnage including the fleet of Rickmers-Linie. The name Zeamarine followed after Zeaborn merged with Intermarine in September 2018. In April 2019, however, Zeaborn acquired full control of the business, buying Intermarine’s remaining shares.
The rapid expansion coupled with higher charter rates and disappointing freight rates is rumoured to be the cause of the problems.
Zeamarine currently operates a fleet of 68 multipurpose and heavy-lift vessels, according to the company’s website. In Dynamar’s multipurpose vessel operator top-10, the Bremen-based shipping company is ranked as the fourth largest MPV-operator in the world.
Correction: PCJ had previously reported that Zeaborn had acquired the fleet of “now bankrupt Rickmer-Linie”. This statement was incorrect. Rickmers-Linie was sold to Zeaborn following financial problems at the holding company, Rickmers Holding. It was this entity that went bankrupt and that was after the sale of Rickmers-Linie. Zeaborn had renamed Rickmers-Linie to Rickmers Line until the merger with Intermarine, after which both companies were continued under the name Zeamarine.