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KARATZAS MARINE ADVISORS & Co.
ORIGINATIONS & TRANSACTIONS
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." William Arthur Ward
SHIPBROKERAGE - VESSEL SALE & PURCHASE (S&P)
We have an exceptionally strong access to buyers and sellers of vessels, whether they are privately-held, independent operating shipowners or publicly traded companies, active or passive owners of the vessels. We have extensively represented financial owners as sellers of vessels - leasing companies, institutional owners, shipping banks, and we have a demonstrable strong record of delivering superior performance and pricing and have executed impeccably on the delivery of the vessels and change of ownership.
Whether tankers, dry bulk, containerships or offshore assets, our clients can depend on us to maximize the sale price and added value. Whether the transactions were outright market transactions at 'arm's length' or required 'soft financing' or happened under extenuating circumstances, our clients could depend on our firm to engage all parties and deliver smoothly on expectations. Sale of assets from financial owners, who are not in charge of the vessel(s) from an operational point of view, and where conflicts of interest between vessel owners and vessel managers can be monumental, our firm has proven to be a world class performer of resolving issues and executing on transactions; references can be provided gladly upon request. Our shipping expertise and hands-on approach has saved the day many a time in sales of assets from financial owners.
VESSEL ARRESTS & AUCTIONS
An unfortunate by-product of the shipping market collapse since 2008 has been the default on payments to creditors whether primary lenders and mortgage banks or trade accounts, which on occasion has resulted to vessel arrests, foreclosures and sales at auction and judicial sales of vessels. This is never the preferred venue for creditors as risks, expenses and sale outcome can easily get out of control. Our firm is experienced working with creditors, insolvency administrators, vessel managers and all parties involved in order to maximize the visibility of the auction, generate interest and work – most likely on behalf of creditors – to maximize auction price achieved. Our firm, through its affiliation with vessel managers and admiralty law firms worldwide can provide turn-key solutions to creditors exploring the possibility of a vessel arrest and auction.
Please note our website dedicated to Vessel Judicial Sales & Auctions at www.karatzas.auction
STRUCTURED FINANCE & CAPITAL RAISING
The shipping finance market has changed for shipowners and other principal stakeholders active in the shipping industry; traditional shipping banks – bowing to regulatory pressure – have been exiting the shipping industry or drastically realigning their strategy with the maritime industry shipping. With debt now available to shipowners in limited supply, higher cost (spreads) and tighter credit criteria, alternative sources of financing have to explored.
Whether arranging senior lending in the form of first preferred ship mortgages, junior equity, second-lien financing, leasing, debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, working capital for running expenses and dry-docking, capital to re-pay balloon payments for maturing loans, financing against charters, contracts of affreightment (COAs) are firm has proven record arranging financing and maximizing value for new projects and also ‘legacy transactions’ where high outstanding loans and auditing / regulatory considerations have to be addressed.
For companies seeking to access the capital markets and institutional investors, our firm has been arranging highly focused introductions, business planning and strategy, and sourcing of capital from like-minded sources whether on a project or corporate level, short or longer term, mostly off market but with high requirements of performance and value optimization.
JOINT VENTURES & CO-INVESTMENTS
While the public capital markets have been available to only major or strategic companies in shipping, there has been a plethora of business opportunities since shipping asset prices have been reaching shipping business cycle trough levels and a great deal of industry stakeholders are pre-occupied with legacy transactions, inefficient vessels, weak balance sheets, restructurings and possibly divestitures and asset disposals. In such a market environment, there are plenty of business opportunities for the companies determined to exploit the market malaise in order to acquire, expand, consolidate, and grow profitably.
Whether they are shipowners seeking equity partners to form joint-ventures companies (JVs) or institutional investors and private equity funds seeking highly reputable partners in shipping to help them navigate investment opportunities, our firm has a very strong record for assisting either side of market participant to source, evaluate, investigate, negotiate and eventually set up profitable ventures; usually, our firm maintains its involvement in the growth phase of the JV as members of the board, strategic advisors, counsels and often co-investors in such opportunities – the ultimate expression of faith in the partnership and alignment of interests.
SHIPPING LOAN SALES
In a challenging credit environment, banks with shipping exposure have on occasion opted to divest of shipping loans, whether on a portfolio basis or selectively divesting targeted parts of their shipping loan portfolios.
Our firm has assisted with the sale of shipping loans by assessing loan quality and providing shipping loan valuations, providing a highly targeted marketing of such portfolios to well qualified buyers and getting involved in negotiations on pricing and terms of sale, including considerations in reference to the underlying assets, their valuation and potentially logistical issues of arranging for vessel management.
Similarly, on behalf of institutional buyers, we have used our wide network of shipping banks to source shipping loan portfolios with defined profiles in terms of credit quality, underlying assets, jurisdiction, etc and we have been an integral part of the negotiations and the acquisition of shipping loan portfolios.
Our firm can act on behalf of both buyers and sellers for the sale of shipping loan portfolios.
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