June 1 - Rickmers Holding, parent company of the Rickmers Group, is to become a stock corporation, with the new corporate form expected to take place by the end of June.

With the decision resolved at a shareholders meeting, once the change is implemented, the previous KG company will do business as Rickmers Holding AG.

Rickmers confirmed that the conversion of Rickmers Holding into a stock corporation has no effect whatsoever on the corporate bond issued by the company, as the issuer itself remains unchanged even though it has adopted a new form of incorporation.

"With the announcement of the decision taken today we are very well positioned to take advantage of current and future growth opportunities arising from the consolidation of the shipping sector," said Rickmers Group ceo, Ignace Van Meenen. "Our initial focus is on the further expansion of our portfolio of energy-efficient container ships, which our customers are increasingly demanding." 

Mark-Ken Erdmann, Rickmers Group cfo, added: "The conversion of Rickmers Holding to a stock corporation represents a further milestone in the history of our company, and is closely linked to the plans already announced to strengthen the Rickmers Group's own equity and internal financing capacity. It also provides us with options to implement these measures at group level."

In its first meeting, the supervisory board elected Bertram Rickmers as chairman of the board and Jost Hellmann as deputy chairman. The board also appointed Ignace Van Meenen and Mark-Ken Erdmann as members of the Rickmers Holding AG executive board.

The Rickmers Group incorporates Rickmers-Linie, which is a shipping line dedicated to breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo.