March 3 - Beluga Shipping has responded to reports that its future ownership structure is in question with the announcement that the group is to undertake a comprehensive financial restructuring.
This restructuring is aimed at ensuring that Beluga has the capital and cost structure to compete more effectively in the international shipping market.
The company has said that a chief restructuring officer, Roger Iliffe, has taken over the position of Interim CEO following the request of Beluga's founder, Niels Stolberg to take a leave of absence.
Iliffe will lead Beluga jointly with Michael Maynard as interim finance director.
Beluga said that other management changes and appointments are likely to be announced in due course.
Beluga said that it is working closely with its largest secured lender - the Los Angeles-based private equity firmOaktree Capital Management - which is reported to have attempted to wrestle control of the company.
Oaktree, which invested USD280m in Beluga Shipping last year, has extensive experience in restructurings in Europe and in the global shipping industry and will devote significant resources to stabilize and strengthen the group.
As part of the proposed financial restructuring, Beluga, together with Oaktree, is seeking the support of other key creditors and stakeholders for the restructuring.
Throughout the restructuring process, the group says it will continue to operate normally with full scale operations and serve its customers as it has in the past.