STAR Capital Partnership LLP (“STAR”) acquires cornerstone shareholding in MPC Container Ships AS (“MPCC”)
14 December 2017
STAR, a leading European fund manager, announces today that it has acquired a cornerstone shareholding in MPCC, an Oslo based shipping company.
MPCC owns and operates a portfolio of container ships with a focus on the Feeder segment between 1,000 and 3,000 TEU. These vessels are ideally suited to serve intra-regional trade, which accounts for approximately 40% of total maritime container trade and is expected to grow faster than the general market.
MPCC represents an attractive platform to invest in the sector. The Company focuses on the most attractive segment, benefiting from a favourable demand/supply outlook and protection from the substitution by larger vessels, while acquiring ships at current low prices. MPCC is one of the few well-capitalised platforms being able to take advantage of the situation as traditional investors and financiers have largely withdrawn from the market. MPCC’s growing portfolio is highly competitive due to the quality of its vessels and low operating costs. The Company’s strategy is to continue the growth of the fleet through attractive vessel acquisitions and realising further economies of scale. The business is run by a strong management team, led by Constantin Baack, who has significant experience in the shipping industry.
STAR invested in the Company through a capital raise undertaken by MPCC, following which STAR is the Company’s largest shareholder. STAR has invested in MPCC alongside MPC Capital AG and Pilgrim Global, two highly experienced investors in the sector. The funds raised by MPCC will be used to support the continued growth of the fleet.
MPCC is registered on the Merkur Market in Oslo, Norway, which STAR believes will provide a sensible path for further growth and potential listing options in the future.
Constantin Baack, Managing Director of MPCC, said:
“We are delighted to have STAR’s backing as cornerstone investor in MPCC. STAR is an ideal investor for MPCC given its significant experience in investing in asset-based transportation businesses and developing them with management to create significant value for shareholders.”
Today’s announcement provides another example of STAR’s strategy to invest in and develop attractive asset-based businesses with strategic market positions and strong growth prospects. It is the third investment by STAR’s €800 million Fund III which had its final closing at its hard cap in June 2017.