SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 — Ron Widdows, CEO of Hamburg based Rickmers Group calls a new joint venture with private equity group Apollo Global (NYSE: APO) "a further milestone along the path we have embarked on to develop a number of new options for investing in and growing our businesses.
Rickmers and funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC (together with its consolidated subsidiaries 'Apollo') (NYSE: APO) have entered into a joint venture to invest in containerships, initially focused on secondary market vessels.
The joint venture has the capacity to invest up to US$500 million, and investments are expected to be made over a period of several years.
The joint venture may also be expanded over time to include newbuild tonnage and other ship-related investments if the parties identify attractive projects in those areas and mutually agree to pursue them.
Rickmers will provide a range of services for the jointly acquired fleet of ships including technical and commercial ship management.
"Rickmers is excited about the prospects that this collaboration with a firm with the resources and capabilities that Apollo brings to this venture," says Mr. Widdows.
Rickmers CFO Ignace Van Meenen says a successful bond issue in June the deal announced today possible.
"Part of the proceeds from this issue were envisaged to finance growth opportunities just such as this new venture with Apollo, which will yield returns that are accretive for the Group and contribute to generating new business for our Maritime Services business segment," he says.
"We are looking forward to working with Bertram Rickmers and his strong management team," says Skardon Baker, Partner of Apollo European Principal Finance Fund, states. "The Rickmers Group is a recognized leader in the German shipping community, and it has the scale, operating strength and industry knowledge to take advantage of growth opportunities at this challenging inflection point for the shipping industry. We are excited about this partnership, as we believe the combination of Rickmers' outstanding operating capabilities and entrepreneurial spirit and Apollo's shipping institutional knowledge and capital resources will allow us to drive a strong performance for our respective shareholders and investors."
"This investment builds on Apollo's previous maritime investments in the debt capital markets and private equity and demonstrates Apollo EPF's continued commitment to providing creative capital solutions to a variety of European industries and asset classes," says Fred Khedouri, Chief Investment Officer of Apollo's EPF Fund.