March 21 - For the first time since his 'leave of absence' was announced Beluga founder, Niels Stolberg, went onto the offensive late last week.

Stolberg was quoted in the local Weser Kurier newspaper as suggesting that the major investor, Oaktree Capitalhad effectively pushed the company's chartering and shipping arms into filing for insolvency.

The article says that Stolberg believes that with banks and charterers in reasonable dialogue, a solution would have been possible to secure the group's future.

It adds that he is determined to do everything in his power to assist the administrator into continuing Beluga'sexistence.

HLPFI has been unable to contact Stolberg to discuss his thoughts and representatives of Oaktree Capital are also not responding to our requests for further information.