NIBC finances Team Tankers International at decisive recovery moment

Corporate News -

Oslo-listed chemical tanker owner Team Tankers International – one of Scandinavia’s larger shipping companies – underwent a major restructuring to turn its fortunes around after the economic crisis hit the industry hard. NIBC stepped in to provide financing at this decisive moment in the company’s life cycle.

We teamed up with Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) to provide a USD 100 million credit facility for Team Tankers International (TEAM) to finance its fresh start.

TEAM was already in the later stages of the restructuring when NIBC came on board. We agreed to disburse a USD 50 million loan on completion of a debt-to-equity swap that would leave the company free of debt.

The swap was instigated by CEO Jens Grønning, who wanted to find a permanent solution for TEAM’s mounting debt. “He sought investors who would buy up its whole debt position with the aim of converting it to equity. He also needed capital and working capital to continue operations,” says Jan-Willem Schellingerhout, vice president, Shipping & Intermodal at NIBC.

“We agreed that if the company was debt-free after the swap, with a new shareholder base, we would do a new financing with SEB that would give TEAM the capital it needed to pay for the reorganisation and some working capital to pay crew and for fuel and other expenses.”

TEAM, which had been known as Eitzen Chemical until 2015, ran into financial trouble after it bought vessels and made acquisitions at the top of the market with financing that was based on inflated asset prices. The economic crisis hammered the global shipping markets and although Eitzen took multiple measures aimed at restoring its financial health between 2008 and 2013, these weren’t enough. To avoid bankruptcy proceedings, it opted last year for an out-of-court restructuring.

CFO Andreas Reklev teamed up with the banks to maximize efficiency in the process. His hands-on approach ensured a smooth communication and helped to align views.” It has been challenging, but thanks to the ‘can do’ mentality of everyone, we were able to agree on terms with all stakeholders and close the transaction”, says Reklev.

We completed the transaction within three months, an impressive speed given its complexity. NIBC’s advantage was our flexibility, helped by our short reporting lines, and our industry experience. “It really helped that we knew the market already. We could get to the heart of the matter fast,” says Maurice Wijmans, director, Shipping & Intermodal.

“Helping TEAM to make a fresh start at a very important moment in its life cycle was a landmark transaction in the Scandinavian shipping market.”

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