Hansa Heavy Lift files for bankruptcy

Hansa Heavy Lift files for bankruptcy

Hansa Heavy Lift HHL Kobe.

Founded in 2011, Hansa Heavy Lift was the successor to Bremen-based Beluga Shipping. Photo credit: Hansa Heavy Lift.

Hamburg-based multipurpose and heavy-lift carrier Hansa Heavy Lift (HHL) has reportedly filed for bankruptcy — a decision made by Oaktree Capital Management, Hansa's owner, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. HHL employees were informed Monday, according to European news sources.

Hansa's P-series heavy-lift vessels of about 19,350-20,000 deadweight tonnes (21,329 to 22,046 tons) had reportedly become difficult to fix.

Last week, according to press reports, Hansa's payments to suppliers, agents, and partners were discontinued. The HHL Elbe was arrested in Rouen, France, recently for failure to pay a bunker supplier.

HHL, founded in 2011, was the successor to Bremen, Germany-based Beluga Shipping. Oaktree Capital had previously taken over Beluga and forced out owner Niels Stolberg, who was later sentenced to prison for fraud. Hansa struggled to gain a foothold in the heavy-lift market as the global shipping crisis widened after 2011.

Earlier this autumn, there were rumors that Bremen-based Zeamarine was in talks to purchase HHL, but the transaction failed to materialize. Earlier attempts to find investors and/or restructure also failed to bring financial relief to the carrier.

Contact Janet Nodar at janet.nodar@ihsmarkit.com and follow her on Twitter at @janet_nodar.