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Zech sells Zeaborn to Wilhelmsen and MPC

Zeaborn Ship Management goes to Wilhelmsen Ship Management and MPC Capital. Contractor Zech to focus on assets and operations.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management and MPC Capital are jointly acquiring Hamburg-based Zeaborn Ship Management (Zeaborn). Zech Maritime Holding had already sold its chartering division for container ships in July of this year.

Zeaborn most recently managed around 100 container ships, bulkers, tankers and multi-purpose vessels, which were managed from offices in Hamburg, Limassol, Singapore and Manila. Just a year ago, the expansion of the fleet had been set as a goal. Apparently, however, the mood has changed.

Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel triples its fleet with Zeaborn

With the acquisition of Zeaborn, the buyers Wilhelmsen Ship Management (Singapore) and MPC Capital (Hamburg) are expanding their joint activities in the field of technical ship management in Hamburg to more than 150 ships. Across all ship segments, Wilhelmsen will in future have a fleet of 350 ships and thus a “significant fleet size in the third-party ship management market”, according to the statement.

“It is never easy to part with well-performing companies, but the transaction makes sense for everyone involved,” says Holger Strack, Managing Director of Zech Maritime Holding based in Hamburg.

Zech invests in ships and companies

According to the information provided, the shipping activities within the Zech Group will focus on investments in ships (Maritime Assets) and companies (Maritime Investments and Maritime Operations) in future. In March 2023, the company had already made a significant investment in the IPO of Stainless Chemical Tankers initiated by Tufton Investment Management. With United Heavy Lift (UHL), two new MPP F900s are expected in early 2024. The fleet will grow to 19 eco-heavy lift vessels.

Zeaborn takeover another “milestone”

According to MPC Capital, the acquisition is a logical next step in the partnership between MPC Capital and Wilhelmsen, which has existed for three years, as well as for their joint ventures Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel Ship Management (Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel) and the tanker specialist Barber Ship Management.

The integration of Zeaborn will create a leading competence center for ship management services in Hamburg. The name Zeaborn will soon be history.

Michael Silies and Michael Brandhoff will take over the management of the joint activities. Michael Silies has been with MPC Capital since 2003 and has headed Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel since 2020. Michael Brandhoff has been Managing Director of Zeaborn since 2021.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 and is still subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.

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