Shipowners Swap Fees for Stake in CSAV

Shipowners Swap Fees for Stake in CSAV

Leading German container shipowners have acquired a stake of around 18 percent in CSAV, finalizing a 2009 deal that involved cutting charter rates for the Chilean ocean carrier.

The owners, who include Peter Dohle and Rickmers, are swapping a $360 million cut in charter fees for the stake in CSAV which came close to collapse at the depth of the recession in container shipping last year.

The shipowners agreed to cut charter rates by an average 35 percent, sparking demands by other financially troubled container lines, including Israeli carrier Zim and Germany's Hapag-Lloyd, for cuts in ship hire rates.

CSAV, the world's tenth largest carrier, has also raised $410 million from capital increases as part of a $770 million restructuring.

The carrier operates a fleet of 115 ships with a combined capacity of 417,871 20-foot equivalent units, of which 108 of 383,050 TEUs are chartered, according to Alphaliner, the Paris-based consultant.

German charter shipowners have also acquired an equity stake in CCNI, Chile's second largest ocean carrier.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.