Maritime & Shipping | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Maritime & Shipping
Maritime & Shipping

Maritime & Shipping

About

Significant challenges and opportunities exist in the shipping and broader maritime sectors. Certain market segments are still feeling the effects of the recent economic downturn and the continuing absence of market equilibrium. Our work has helped to keep maritime companies afloat and their backers' interests protected.

Although financial restructurings are continuing, the demand for capital remains strong given anticipated capital expenditure levels and required refinancings, with notable bright spots for investors. At the same time, potential M&A activity and consolidations (including through pooling and similar arrangements) may increase as we move forward. With traditional lending sources withdrawing from the sector, we advise clients as they seek to address existing challenges: underperforming portfolios, access to new sources of capital and consideration of investment opportunities.

 

Supporting our clients as they optimize their strategies

We advise on some of the toughest issues in this sector, including restructurings, refinancings, capital raising, M&A transactions, private equity involvement, regulatory compliance and disputes. We have extensive experience in bankruptcy proceedings and workouts and in financing transactions in a broad range of sector segments, in addition to a variety of general fleet financings, with regards to liquid natural gas (LNG) transportation and offshore rig assets and ports and related infrastructure.

We have extensive experience advising clients on "full value chain" investing where they seek to acquire maritime assets for their own businesses, as well as knowledge and experience in fundamental maritime issues relating to time and bareboat charters, tax leases, flagging, classification, ship-building contracts, ship mortgages and delivery disbursement conditions.

Our clients include banks, underwriters and other financial institutions, shipping companies, oil and gas companies, government agencies, and private equity and hedge funds.

 

The maritime business and our role

Our global, cross-disciplinary approach enables us to support those looking to enter the market, to expand existing positions and/or to address the challenges associated with underperforming assets and positions. Our clients depend on sound advice to protect their investments, to maximize their returns and to negotiate complex restructurings in a volatile and hard-to-read environment.

 

Financial restructurings

When a bankruptcy or consensual financial restructuring is looming, stakeholders have to work fast to preserve value, stabilize operations and stem their losses. We have represented creditor groups in some of the largest maritime restructurings in recent years, in each instance drawing on our industry-leading team of worldwide restructuring professionals.

 

Capital raising – general fleet financings, LNG, offshore and ports and related infrastructure

As maritime businesses look to evolve and address the challenges presented by tighter liquidity conditions, we advise a variety of existing stakeholders and other entities seeking to enter the sector in the financing and/or refinancing of existing assets and new builds.

This is a dynamic area for the shipping and broader maritime sectors and increased activity is expected.

 

M&A and consolidations

Notwithstanding the generally fragmented nature of the overall sector, we have seen an increase in M&A activity and consolidations (including through pooling and similar arrangements). We represent stakeholders in sophisticated acquisitions, group restructurings and consolidation transactions across a number of market segments and jurisdictions.

 

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Export Credit Agency Deal of the Year: Gener8 Maritime
Restructuring Deal of the Year: Torm AS
Structured Finance and Innovation Deal of the Year: UASC EMTC
Marine Money 2016

Industrial Manufacturing and Distribution Deal of the Year (over US$500 million): Nautilus
M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards 2015

Private Sector Financing Deal of the Year: Zakher Marine
Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Middle East Awards 2015

Shipping Debt Deal of the Year Middle East: UASC EMTC
Global Transport Finance 2015

Band 1 for Insolvency & Restructuring
Chambers UK 2015

Tier 1 in Equipment Finance Law
U.S. News & World Report—Best Lawyers 2015

Recommended for Shipping Finance
The Legal 500 EMEA 2015: France

Band 2 for Asset Finance
Chambers Global 2015

Tier 2 in Shipping
The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2015: Japan

Port Finance Law Firm of the Year
Global Transport Finance 2014

"Among the first of the US-based law firms to establish a truly global presence… the Firm has developed a broad ranging maritime practice across its global network."
Marine Money 2014

Experience

Comprehensive restructuring of Danish shipping company TORM A/S
Various creditors in the restructuring of TORM A/S, including a mandatory write-down of US$536 million of debt in return for warrants, an optional exchange of US$312 million of debt into shares and a new US$75 million working capital facility.

Global Trade Finance "Shipping Deal of the Year 2015 – Middle East" (UASC)
United Arab Shipping Company in an innovative capital markets transaction, with an "enhanced maritime trust certificate" financing structure that combined features from other transportation financings, including the enhanced equipment trust certificate model used by air carriers and the structured financing model used by car rental companies.

Zakher Marine complex multijurisdictional US$420 million Islamic financing
The mandated lead arrangers in financing provided to fund Zakher Marine International's new shipbuilding program, including 15 vessels and three selfelevating accommodation barges.

Alcatel-Lucent Submarines vessel refinancing
Société Générale and HSBC France in a vessel refinancing for ALDA Marine, a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent Submarines. Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks now has full ownership of ALDA Marine and its fleet.

US$581 million refinancing for 25 General Maritime Corporation tankers
Nordea Bank, as facility agent, security agent, global coordinator, mandated lead arranger and bookrunner in a senior secured credit facility for Gener8 Maritime Subsidiary II, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gener8 Maritime.

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. financing for 20 newbuild dry bulk vessels
Nordea, as administrative agent, in a US$400 million senior secured delayed-draw term loan and revolving credit facilities to partially finance the vessels' construction cost or contract price.