Germany: Newly Formed Shipping Group Blue Star Holding Gets CEO

Germany - Newly Formed Shipping Group Blue Star Holding Gets CEO

From July 1st 2012 Dr Hermann J. Klein will run the newly formed shipping group as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). E.R. Schiffahrt, Komrowski Befrachtungskontor and the Komrowski owned Reederei Blue Star are merging their ship management activities under the newly formed Blue Star Holding.

The new group’s shareholders are Komrowski Holding and E.R. Capital Holding whose subsidiary E.R. Schiffahrt will be responsible for managing the new activities. By the end of May 2012 the relevant discussions with business partners are expected to be completed. By this date all employees will be united at the new company’s joint location, the current headquarters of E.R. Schiffahrt.

Already starting April 1st Dr Klein will be responsible for running the ship management activities of Komrowski Group and preparing the companies for the planned integration. Dr Klein was member of the Board of Directors of the Germanischer Lloyd AG and is currently a member of its Supervisory Board. “We are delighted to have attracted such an internationally well known and experienced top executive for this role. Dr Klein has been in the shipping industry for over 30 years and has an excellent track record, reputation and network. He is a proven expert in important topics of relevance for the future such as efficiency and environmental sustainability”, says Nicholas Teller, CEO of E.R. Capital Holding.

Until July 1st, Albert Schumacher will continue in his role as CEO of E.R. Schiffahrt. Thereafter he will remain on the Board of E.R. Schiffahrt and accompany the merger process until the end of the current year. Albert Schumacher has been Director of E.R. Schiffahrt since the company was founded and has also been a director of E.R. Capital Holding since 2010. Schumacher was instrumental in founding and developing the activities and the growth of E.R. Schiffahrt over the years and has contributed substantially to the company’s success. Having reached retirement age, Albert Schumacher will resign from his operational roles at the end of this year. He will continue to be a close advisor of the E.R. Group thereafter.

Germany’s largest shipping group

The jointly managed fleet under the umbrella of Blue Star Holding consists of 143 vessels: 114 container ships, 25 bulk carriers and 4 multipurpose units. E.R. Offshore’s nine platform supply vessels and four anchor handlers are not part of the merger. In terms of deadweight capacity, Blue Star Holding will be Germany’s largest shipping group at around ten million tonnes deadweight. In all, the new company will employ about 4,500 employees on land and at sea.

Newly Formed Shipping Group Blue Star Holding Gets CEO

A strategy with a long-term perspective

The new group’s strategy is aimed at growth, attracting other ship-owning companies as partners and increasing the fleet to over 200 vessels. “Synergies in terms of economies of scale, for example when marketing vessels or in crewing and procurement as well as in operational areas such as implementing new environmental regulations, can best be gained once a group reaches a certain size. Furthermore, banks will in future focus their ship financing activities on profitable companies which can support financing on the strength of their balance sheets. This is why larger structures are required now to be successful in the future”, Teller says. Blue Star Holding is open to talks with other ship-owning companies who are interested in joining the new group as partners.

About E.R. Capital Holding:

Erck Rickmers’ companies are consolidated under the umbrella of E.R. Capital Holding. They include:

E.R. Schiffahrt, a ship owning and ship management company specialising in container and bulk carrier shipping with 91 vessels in service and under construction.

E.R. Offshore, a company that manages special vessels for offshore oil and gas production and has 13 units.

Nordcapital, an investment company, which focuses on project financing of tangible assets in transport, energy and real estate. Nordcapital has established around 140 funds with an investment volume of EUR 6 billion for private and institutional investors.

The private equity company equitrust is active in fund management and direct investment and invests in the small and midcap segment, mainly in the German-speaking countries.

The companies within E.R. Capital Holding employ a total of 3,000 people on land and at sea.

About the Komrowski Group:

The Komrowski Group was established in 1912 and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. Originally founded as a trading company, it took up shipping and ship management activities in 1923, developing these ever since. The Komrowski Group is also involved in international trading and financial services and has a number of overseas offices. In 2009 the Group acquired the shares in the Blue Star shipping company. Komrowski’s fleet of 56 ships operates in the container, bulk and multi-purpose shipping sectors.

Source: E.R. Schiffahrt, March 15, 2012

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