April 11 - Further to the news reported by HLPFI last week regarding the company's cooperation with Carisbrooke Shipping, Zeaborn has acquired a majority shareholding in the shipping-related companies of the HC Group.

Having acquired a 50 percent shareholding in EMS ConBulk last year, Zeaborn's latest acquisition sees it take on the commercial management of 14 additional vessels from HC Chartering.

Zeaborn will also provide technical management services for 11 of the 14 ships. The acquisition is still subject to approval under antitrust law.

Through its recent agreement with Carisbrooke, Zeaborn has added an extra 17 ships to its commercial management portfolio.

With three existing commercial management vessel contracts for other shipowners, this brings the total number of ships under Zeaborn's management to 34.

The ships range in deadweight from 7,700 to 22,000 tonnes, with combined lifting capacities of up to 480 tonnes.

"Against the background of clearly eroding markets, we believe that the provision of sound technical management services and the expansion of our operative fleet to more than 30 vessels is essential," said Zeaborn managing partners Ove Meyer and Jan Hendrik Többe.

Burkhard Tesdorpf of the HC Group added: "The expansion of the fleet enables access to customers and contract cargo that only becomes commercially viable from a fleet size of at least 20 vessels."

Zeaborn also has a six-ship newbuilding programme under way, with the first multipurpose vessel scheduled for delivery during the second quarter of 2016.