February 9 - Zeaborn Group has taken over the business operations of Rickmers-Linie, including NPC Projects, marking further consolidation in the multipurpose shipping sector.

As part of the deal, Bremen-based Zeaborn Group will also assume control of bunkering and chartering broker MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting. The agreement was signed on February 7, 2017 and the deal is subject to antitrust clearance.

Rickmers-Linie and MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting are both fully owned by Rickmers Holding AG. Rickmers-Linie took over the project and chartering arm of Nordana - NPC Projects - in June 2016.

"With the growth of our fleet, we were faced with the challenge of building a global organisation. Everyone who knows the shipping industry knows that this is a very challenging task in our time. In this respect, it's fortune for our development that Rickmers-Linie was available at the right time," explained Jan Hendrik Többe, managing partner of Zeaborn.

Ove Meyer, managing partner of Zeaborn, added: "Just like us, Rickmers-Linie and NPC Projects are concentrating on the transport of breakbulk, heavy lifts and project cargoes. They have an excellent reputation, have close, long-term customer relationships and stand for reliability, quality, innovation and technical competence."

Together, Zeaborn and Rickmers-Linie (with NPC and MCC) have a team of close to 200 employees and a combined fleet of about 50 multipurpose vessels, with deadweight capacities between 7,500 and 30,000 tonnes.

Ulrich Ulrichs, ceo of Rickmers- Linie, commented: "Rickmers-Linie gets new powerful shareholders who want to expand their activities in the multipurpose segment. With Zeaborn, we have the right partners to play an active part in the consolidation of the heavy and multipurpose sector in a currently difficult market situation."

Bertram R.C. Rickmers will be privately involved as a minority shareholder in the new venture.

In April last year, Zeaborn took over commercial management of Carisbrooke Shipping's fleet of 17 multipurpose vessels - the 12,900 dwt and Vectis type ships.