October 21, 2013

Augustea Bunge forms new joint venture with York Capital Management



The joint venture company of Augustea Atlantica S.p.A. and Bunge Limited, Augustea Bunge Maritime Limited entered a new joint venture with York Capital Management called ABY Holding Limited, which will operate an independent fleet of ocean-going dry-bulk vessels. 


The Malta-based venture intends to grow through the acquisition and chartering of modern ships. The ABY fleet currently includes two ships that are in-service, the ABML Eva (built in 2012) and the ABML Grace (built in 2002). ABY also owns three additional ships that are under construction at top Japanese shipyards.  ABML will bring the combined expertise of its partners to the new venture, with Augustea providing technical management and a Bunge subsidiary providing advisory services.


Koert Erhardt, Managing Director of ABML, will lead the joint venture and continue to build on the commercial success of ABML since its launch in 2011. The partnership with York will further the commercial goals of ABML by expanding the resources available to build a fleet of scale. Of the new partnership Erhardt said, "This is a truly unique opportunity to draw on the complementary resources and skill sets of Augustea, a world class ship owner, Bunge, a leading global agribusiness, and York, a top tier investment firm."


William Vrattos, Partner and Head of Global Credit at York Capital Management, said they are pleased to participate in this joint venture as they seek to gain further exposure to the compelling investment opportunities they see in the maritime shipping industry.


"This venture with York represents another exciting milestone in our more than 50 years of experience in deep-sea shipping," said Raffaele Zagari, CEO of the Augustea Group. "ABY will continue to focus on acquiring first-class quality dry bulk tonnage while benefitting from the wide array of skills that our partners provide. This new partnership will help Augustea enhance its ability to provide first-class maritime services to its customers."


Giovanni Ravano, Managing Director of Ocean Freight and Global Logistics at Bunge Limited added, "Through these partnerships in vessel ownership, Bunge continues to expand in ocean freight and further develop our insights into the global supply chain, which is an integral part of our core business."


Augustea Atlantica S.p.A. operates more than thirty dry bulk ships, 14 of which are owned, with the remainder comprised of vessels chartered-in and in joint-venture with other first class operators. In 2012 Augustea Atlantica moved approximately 10 million tonnes of bulk commodities across the globe. It is a privately owned group headquartered in Italy with offices in London, Singapore, Malta, Buenos Aires and in Colombia, also active in harbour towage and heavy lift with dedicated barges and tugs.


Bunge Limited is a leading global agribusiness and food company and buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains to serve customers worldwide; processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for commercial customers and consumers; produces sugar and ethanol from sugarcane; mills wheat and corn to make ingredients used by food companies; and sells fertiliser in North and South America.


York Capital Management is a global investment management firm with primary offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. The firm manages approximately US$17 billion employing event-driven investment strategies specialising in arbitrage, special situations and distressed credit opportunities.

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