Years of rumours and hearsay came to a dramatic climax today following confirmation that Hansa Heavy Lift has filed for insolvency.
The Hamburg-headquartered carrier, which operates a fleet of specialised heavy lift tonnage with lifting capacities up to 1,400 tonnes, has fallen foul of challenging economic conditions and a dramatic decline in super-heavy project cargoes requiring specialised tonnage.
Oaktree Capital Management – a Los Angeles-headquartered private equity fund – invested approximately USD280 million into Beluga Shipping in 2010, before the carrier was declared bankrupt in March 2011. From the ashes of Beluga, Hansa Heavy Lift was established in May 2011 as a standalone shipping company.
The Hansa Heavy Lift fleet has steadily declined in recent years. In 2015 it operated a fleet of 21 vessels, which had shrunk to 11 ships effective December 2018.
A spokesperson for Oaktree Capital Management said: “Due to an extremely challenging operating environment in the global shipping industry, Hansa Heavy Lift filed for insolvency earlier today.
“Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. have been a committed investor in the company over the past seven years and have worked tirelessly with the company’s management team to thoroughly evaluate all potential strategic avenues to ensure the viability of the business. However, given the ongoing structural challenges in the global heavy lift shipping sector, Oaktree is supportive of the company’s decision to file for insolvency and has decided not to make any additional capital investments in the business.”
An administrator is expected to be announced tomorrow.