After years of negative results and fighting to restructure debt Eitzen Chemical is now ready to invest, consolidate and grow.
"Alongside working on a debt restructuring plan we've also had time to be curious and to enter dialogs in the market. We have clear set opinions about who and what we need and which companies and ships could be interesting, but we're not in concrete negotiations at this time. The good thing for us now is that we can go out and show other companies that we're well-equipped," CEO Jens Grønning tells ShippingWatch.
Eitzen Chemical's debt restructuring plan was settled on Tuesday afternoon and ensures the carrier's operations following the years of debt.
"Our balance and debt are now among the lowest in the industry, and this gives us some interesting opportunities, as we're now able to grow organically as well as inorganically. And our status as a listed company could also help this growth," he says.
Expects positive chemical tanker market
Eitzen Chemical, whose chemical tanker fleet counts 47 vessels, 36 of which are fully owned by the carrier and the rest on charter, is optimistic in terms of the chemical tanker market this year, where the first month is now almost over.
"As a company we're positive and we still believe that now is a good time for new investments. The fundamental conditions in chemical tanker are generally good," says Jens Grønning.
Eitzen Chemical will change its name to Team Tankers International in a few weeks. The company does not own the name and logo for Eitzen Chemical, and this change of identity is scheduled to coincide with the finalized restructuring plan.
Many people associate the name Eitzen Chemical with challenges, while the new name, according to Jens Grønning, will mark the beginning of "a new chapter."
Debt plan for millions of dollars
The restructuring plan has systematized hundreds of millions of dollars, said the carrier in a statement announcing the plan on Tuesday.
"Eitzen Chemical is pleased to announce that the Restructuring on the terms previously disclosed was consummated today. Approximately USD 850 million of bank and bond debts was converted, and USD 43 million was repaid with the proceeds from a new USD 100 million revolving credit and term loan facility," said the carrier.
"As result of the conversion of the bank and bond debt, the holders of the converted debt now own 98 percent of the outstanding shares of the company."
Work on the now-completed debt restructuring plan began in February 2014. Before this, Jens Grønning joined the company with the primary goal of turning deficits into a profit. He arrived from a job as CEO of United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC) in Dubai, where he worked from 2008 to 2013. Prior to this he served as COO of Eitzen Chemical for seven years and he was thus intimately familiar with the business he returned to in 2013.