March 2 - Rickmers Group has successfully concluded the negotiations on the general reorganisation of existing bank loans with a total value of EUR1.28 billion (USD1.43 billion), with corresponding contracts signed with a group of principal banks.

The successful conclusion of the refinancing negotiations forms a further important cornerstone of the overall recapitalisation strategy. 

The group has stipulated an early extension of its existing loans by a further three years until 2018, but also reduced the size of the group of principal banks from a total of 12 to seven in favour of streamlined financing structures.

Additionally, a future-proof reorganisation of the covenant package was achieved, which concerns for example the elimination of a former "investment limitation clause", which prevented Rickmers Group from investing more than ten million US dollars per annum. This and further restrictions have been replaced with a much more growth-oriented bank covenant package, the shipping group says.

In parallel with the conclusion of the bank loan refinancing, Rickmers Group has further substantiated the preparations for the extension and strengthening of the Group's equity with the objective to increase the scope of internal financing for long-term growth.