Norwegian carrier Western Bulk Chartering's second quarter result went red after a profit in the same period last year. Owner Bulk Invest's bankruptcy and the weak dry bulk market are cited as reasons for the deficit.
Western Bulk Chartering, which was acquired by Norwegian shipowner Christian Sveaas in a controversial transaction in February this year, sees a tough dry bulk market ahead and is still impacted by the Bulk Invest bankruptcy earlier this year, according to the interim report.
The Group Executive VP of Western Bulk Chartering's key business unit has decided to step down after spending more than 15 years with the Norwegian dry bulk carrier. The resignation happened on friendly terms, according to ShippingWatch's sources.
When Kistefos Equity Operations took over Western Bulk Chartering from Bulk Invest, it all happened by the book, says CEO Jens Ismar in an interview with ShippingWatch. Kistefos had left the room while the board discussed the price and sale of Western Bulk Chartering, he says.
CEO of ABG Sundal Collier acquired more than two million shares in Bulk Invest while the negotiations for restructuring were taking place. The intention was to gain access to investing in Kistefos Equity Operations, he tells.
One of the first things the Bulk Invest bankruptcy estate's trustee will look into is the contested divestment of Western Bulk Chartering. Lawyer and partner Hårvard Wiker tells ShippingWatch which elements of the sale he plans to scrutinize.
The aftermath of the bankruptcy of Norwegian Bulk Invest is in full swing, and six Japanese shipowners continue to contest the sale of Western Bulk Chartering. All legal means will be used, say the shipowners through their attorney.
Suffering Norwegian dry bulk carrier, Bulk Invest - formerly Western Bulk - is openly assessing the consequences of a bankruptcy. Claims come to no less than USD 250 million. "We have a few weeks to find a solution," management writes.
Japanese shipowners who are creditors to struggling Bulk Invest are not pleased with the sale of Western Bulk Chartering and have filed an injunction against Bulk Invest. "We don't think they'll get anywhere with this," Bulk Invest CEO Jens Ismar tell ShippingWatch.