Significant challenges and opportunities exist in the shipping and broader maritime sectors. Certain market segments are still feeling the effects of the recent economic downturn and the continuing absence of market equilibrium. Our work has helped to keep maritime companies afloat and their backers’ interests protected.
Although financial restructurings are continuing, the demand for capital remains strong given anticipated capital expenditure levels and required refinancings, with notable bright spots for investors. At the same time, potential M&A activity and consolidations (including through pooling and similar arrangements) may increase as we move forward. With traditional lending sources withdrawing from the sector, we advise clients as they seek to address existing challenges: underperforming portfolios, access to new sources of capital and consideration of investment opportunities.
Supporting our clients as they optimize their strategies
We advise on some of the toughest issues in this sector, including restructurings, refinancings, capital raising, M&A transactions, private equity involvement, regulatory compliance and disputes. We have extensive experience in bankruptcy proceedings and workouts and in financing transactions in a broad range of sector segments, in addition to a variety of general fleet financings, with regards to liquid natural gas (LNG) transportation and offshore rig assets and ports and related infrastructure.
We have extensive experience advising clients on “full value chain” investing where they seek to acquire maritime assets for their own businesses, as well as knowledge and experience in fundamental maritime issues relating to time and bareboat charters, tax leases, flagging, classification, ship-building contracts, ship mortgages and delivery disbursement conditions.
Our clients include banks, underwriters and other financial institutions, shipping companies, oil and gas companies, government agencies, and private equity and hedge funds.
The maritime business and our role
Our global, cross-disciplinary approach enables us to support those looking to enter the market, to expand existing positions and/or to address the challenges associated with underperforming assets and positions. Our clients depend on sound advice to protect their investments, to maximize their returns and to negotiate complex restructurings in a volatile and hard-to-read environment.
When a bankruptcy or consensual financial restructuring is looming, stakeholders have to work fast to preserve value, stabilize operations and stem their losses. We have represented creditor groups in some of the largest maritime restructurings in recent years, in each instance drawing on our industry-leading team of worldwide restructuring professionals.
Capital raising – general fleet financings, LNG, offshore and ports and related infrastructure
As maritime businesses look to evolve and address the challenges presented by tighter liquidity conditions, we advise a variety of existing stakeholders and other entities seeking to enter the sector in the financing and/or refinancing of existing assets and new builds.
This is a dynamic area for the shipping and broader maritime sectors and increased activity is expected.
M&A and consolidations
Notwithstanding the generally fragmented nature of the overall sector, we have seen an increase in M&A activity and consolidations (including through pooling and similar arrangements). We represent stakeholders in sophisticated acquisitions, group restructurings and consolidation transactions across a number of market segments and jurisdictions.