October 21 - Dutch multipurpose shipping company Flinter has confirmed that ING Bank will no longer provide financing for nine of its vessels, leaving the line with no other option than to file for suspension of payments.

In an emotional statement on its website, Flinter suggested that the downturn in the shipping industry has continued now for nine years and its prospects are "not yet positive".

The company stated that the "sudden move" by ING Bank has taken it by surprise: "Only last week we were informed that the bank is not willing to renew the financing of the eight vessels owned by Flinter Fleetholding and the multipurpose vessel Flintersky that had expired on October 1. The bank sees no other option than to sell the vessels."

Flinter explained that it discussed its preferred route to sell not by auction during subsequent meetings, and asked the bank to make it possible for suppliers to be paid until the end of the month, while the Dutch company produced a plan for how to best sell the nine ships.

"Four working days later ING Bank informed us that all loans are being called," continued the statement.

"We are extremely sad about all this. In our opinion there are only losers: our staff on shore and on the vessels, the owners of the vessels and Flinter, the many partners and suppliers that supported the vessels in the recent years with better payments terms etc. It is also expected that the bank will lose millions."

Flinter said that it will continue to act "professionally and transparently" in spite of the emotions. "After eight years of fighting hard, it is sad that our journey ends here," said the company.

HLPFI understands that Flinter controls a fleet of over 30 ships, with many of its vessels financed by other banks. With ING Bank cutting the cord, however, Flinter suggested that the financing of its remaining ships has been put in jeopardy, leaving the company facing an uncertain future.


Flinterstream. (credit: Wikimedia)