German bank NordLB and two partners have formed a joint venture that will specialise in advising on the restructuring of non-performing ship loans, the state-backed lender said on Monday.
The shipping industry has been stuck in a multi-year slump brought about by global economic weakness and overcapacity, weighing heavily on lenders with exposure to the sector, including NordLB, HSH, Commerzbank and state development bank KFW.
The venture, Crystal Ocean Advisors, will offer restructuring services for troubled ship financing portfolios but will not take ownership of the assets.
NordLB, shipper Offen Group and alternative assets specialist Caplantic will each own a third of the business, NordLB said.
HSH last year reached agreement with the EU to offload assets worth 6.2 billion euros ($6.8 billion) — mainly non-performing ship loans — from its balance sheet to a run-down vehicle set up by its owners, the regional states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.