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CIT Serves as Sole Lead Arranger on $45 Million Financing for Container Ships

CIT Group Inc. announced that its Maritime Finance business served as sole lead arranger on a $45 million financing for a portfolio of seven container ships. The financing was arranged on behalf of a fund managed by Mangrove Partners, a New York City-based value-oriented investment manager with substantial expertise is shipping assets. All seven vessels are covered by existing charters with leading container ship operators. “CIT’s maritime expertise was evident throughout the financing process,” said Nathaniel August, President of Mangrove Partners. “We appreciated CIT’s agility in bringing this transaction to ...

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To bid or not to bid: Credit bidding in vessel sales pendente lite

Credit bidding is the process whereby a lender, with a secured charge over a borrower’s asset, bids on that asset using the very debt that is owed by the borrower to the lender. The circumstances are usually foreclosure of a lending position against a borrower. In the maritime sector, this process often takes place in the context of forced judicial sales of vessels pendente lite (i.e., during the course of litigation) and frequently before judgment is obtained against the borrower shipowner. However, why would or should the secured lenders be ...

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Scope 3 emissions: how the freight industry will transition to net zero

In February 2020, BP announced that it aims to be “net zero across its operations on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner”. In April 2020, Shell announced “we aim to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner”. These ambitions relate to the three Greenhouse Gas Protocol ‘Scopes’. Scopes 1 and 2 relate to emissions directly and indirectly produced by a company, while Scope 3 emissions are much broader and relate to all other indirect emissions throughout a company’s value chain. Scope 3 goes far beyond Scopes ...

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Cyprus: Fast-Track Business Activation

A Fast-Track Business Activation policy has been recently implemented by the Cyprus Government aiming to support companies wishing to set-up or further expand their operations in Cyprus. Under this new policy, eligible companies can enjoy an accelerated procedure for the incorporation, as well as the registration with relevant public bodies required for the company’s operations. In light of the recent revision of the policy for the employment of non-EU nationals, companies under the Fast-Track Business Activation shall be enabled to hire an increased number of staff in key positions, while ...

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WFW advises Macquarie Bank on first of its kind shipping loan/lease securitisation for Fleetscape

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Macquarie Bank Limited (“Macquarie”) in relation to the securitisation of certain underlying loans for Fleetscape Capital Limited (“Fleetscape”) in respect of the financing of ships on lease to various lessees. Oxane acted as facility agent and security trustee. This was an innovative and first of its kind securitisation in the shipping sector. Securitisation principles and certain structuring efficiencies were utilised to enable Fleetscape to offer sale-and-leaseback or unitranche financing on highly competitive terms. The structure is versatile and has been prepared on the ...

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Maritime arbitration – then and now

Then There was a small cohort of maritime arbitrators, mostly from pure shipping backgrounds rather than the law. London had much more competition than now – mostly from New York and Paris. There was little formality; lawyers only came into the bigger arbitrations. The arbitrators were often appointed for known views which meant that they frequently disagreed and had to refer to an umpire. Most cases were dealt with on paper. The claimant sent its arbitrator its brief, informal, submissions and a few accompanying documents which that arbitrator would then ...

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UK judgments and arbitration awards: the question of enforcement post Brexit

The question of enforcement of UK judgments in other EU countries (and vice versa) is still in flux, since the transition period for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU ended on 31 December 2020. However, it appears that the answer lies in the – bilateral or multilateral – treaties that the UK has and will sign after Brexit. In the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK and the EU agreed that Union law is defined as ‘including international agreements concluded by the EU’ (Articles 129 and 2(a)(iv) of the Withdrawal Agreement). ...

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The EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Investments – Transport

Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and EU Council (the ‘Taxonomy Regulation’)¹ came into force on 12 July 2020, although it will not start applying until 1 January 2022 at the earliest. It represents a key step towards the EU’s objective of achieving a climate neutral union by 2050. “The taxonomy is likely to be a key tool in assessing any green supporting factors under banks’ prudential rules (e.g. capital adequacy treatment).” The Taxonomy Regulation provides uniform criteria for companies and investors to determine whether an economic activity is ...

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WFW advises Banco BPM on €28m facility to Grimaldi Euromed

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Banco BPM S.p.A. (“Banco BPM”) on a €28m loan facility granted to Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. (“Grimaldi Euromed”) to finance the acquisition of a new PCTC (Pure Car & Truck Carrier). The new unit “Grande Texas” was delivered on 26 January 2021 and is the sixth of seven car carriers ordered by Grimaldi Euromed from the Yangfan shipyard in Zhoushan, China. With a gross tonnage of 65,148 tonnes, a transport capacity of approximately 7,600 CEUs (Car Equivalent Units) and a cruising speed of 19 ...

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Singapore maritime arbitration aims to be go-to venue for shipping users in Asia

Despite a Covid-challenged year, the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) took on a heavier caseload last year, and is forging ahead to be the go-to destination for maritime and trade users based in Asia. It was a year when hearings went digital and new linkages were forged, said the chairman of SCMA, Justice Chao Hick Tin. “With Singapore growing into a leading maritime and arbitration centre, its key users have also grown across the region. SCMA’s new vision – to become the leading maritime arbitration centre in Asia – ...

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Introducing hydrogen – A beginner’s guide

Oui, mes amis, je crois que l’eau sera un jour employée comme combustible, que l’hydrogène et l’oxygène, qui la constituent, utilisés isolément ou simultanément, fourniront une source de chaleur et de lumière inépuisables et d’une intensité que la houille ne saurait avoir. Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen, which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light of an intensity of which coal is not capable. Jules Verne, L’Île mystérieuse (The ...

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Ince launches an integrated cyber security solution for the maritime sector in cooperation with Mission Secure

Industry-first integrated legal advisory, business consultancy and technology offering – helping ship owners and operators navigate the sector’s greatest challenges and IMO 2021 cyber compliance 1 February 2021, London – International legal and professional services firm, Ince, is pleased to announce the launch of a specialist cyber security solution in conjunction with Mission Secure, one of the world’s leading Operational Technology (OT) cyber security companies. The venture signals the development, by newly established InceMaritime, of a first of its kind integrated legal advisory, business consultancy, and technology offering for the ...

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Wikborg Rein Expands Marine Casualty And Emergency Response Team

Leading international law firm Wikborg Rein is expanding its marine casualty and emergency response team with the hire of new Admiralty Manager Matt Berry with effect from February 2021. Matt, a former mariner and a qualified solicitor, joins from Ince where he has been specialising in maritime casualties and claims. At Wikborg Rein, Matt will investigate and handle ship casualty cases as well as working on, and helping expand, the firm’s already significant admiralty practice. Matt began his career at sea with James Fisher, working on coastal product tankers, before ...

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Chinese to serve 26-year term for pirate killings

The Kaohsiung District Court on Friday sentenced a Chinese man to 26 years in prison for ordering the killing of four alleged pirates in 2012, when he was serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. Wang Fengyu, 43, was convicted of homicide and for breaching the Controlling Guns, Knives and Ammunition Act, the court said. The incident happened on board the Kaohsiung-registered longliner Ping Shin No. 101 in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29, 2012. Wang ordered two Pakistanis he had hired as acting ...

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WFW advises US maritime lender on US$56m senior loan facility for Seamax

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised a US maritime lender on a US$56m senior secured financing for Seamax Container Shipping II LLC (Seamax”). The loan is secured by four container ships operated by Seamax Shipping. Seamax operates a fleet of 12 modern, post-Panamax container ships and provides the world’s top shipping lines with over 1.2m deadweight tonnage in carrying capacity. The cross-border WFW Maritime team that advised on this deal was led by London Asset Finance Partner Kavita Shah, supported by Senior Associate John Man and Associate Charlotte Humphreys. ...

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