Lomar Shipping, a maritime subsidiary of Libra Group, has acquired the Bremen, Germany-based Carl Büttner Holding GmbH & Co. KG (Carl Büttner or “CB”).
The acquisition of the 166-year-old shipowner and manager — known for its technical management expertise and strong maritime legacy — is Lomar’s most recent step to further diversify and grow its fleet.
Lomar entered into preliminary discussions with CB in Q4 2021, and the final agreement between the groups was reached in early 2022. After obtaining final regulatory approvals, the transaction closed last week at an enterprise value of close to $160 million. Transport Capital provided advisory services and negotiated on behalf of the sellers.
Established in 1856, CB has been owned and managed by five generations of the Büttner family. Through this acquisition, CB will become a subsidiary of Lomar, a leading ship-owning and management group established in 1976 with a diversified fleet of container vessels, bulk carriers, and chemical/product tankers. Lomar’s extensive experience in maritime includes ownership, commercial management, and technical management working with many leading organizations around the world. Lomar is also itself a maritime subsidiary of the family-owned Libra Group, a global business group whose subsidiaries are predominately in six key sectors, including transportation, with assets and operations in nearly 60 countries.
“We are pleased to see the acquisition of Carl Büttner successfully completed and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and their vast tanker management expertise as Lomar enhances its presence in the sector,” said Nicholas Georgiou, CEO of Lomar Shipping. “Our organizations’ cultures share many fundamental similarities, from our long-standing family values to a commitment to developing future talent within the maritime industry. We have a deep understanding of the maritime history in Bremen and are committed to strengthening our presence in the area by welcoming CB into the Lomar family.”
George M. Logothetis, Executive Chairman of Libra Group said, “This deal reflects the ethos and family values shared across our business group. We are pleased that as the Carl Büttner group joins Lomar, a proven maritime leader, it will also benefit from the strength of Libra Group’s network around the world.” He continued, “This is an exciting time for Lomar, and we look forward to many innovative and future-thinking announcements to come.”
In 2017, long-time managing director of the CB Group, Thorsten Mackenthun, launched the most extensive newbuilding program in the company’s history, which was successfully implemented with the delivery of four state-of-the-art ECO/fuel-efficient handy size chemical/oil-product tankers in 2019 and 2020, advancing the company despite the challenging market environment caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. He has decided to retire following the successful acquisition, noting that “after more than 42 years in shipping, this result is a wonderful conclusion, and it is time to pass the wheel into younger hands.” He continued, “CB has had a strong track record in shipping for 166 years, and this deal is a new chapter as part of a trusted company in the space.”
Among their shared values, Lomar and CB are both dedicated to growing the next generation of maritime leaders. Former CEO of Lomar, Bremen-born Achim Boehme, passed away at 56 in 2020 following a courageous battle with cancer. In his memory, Lomar launched the Achim Boehme Scholarship program to support the next generation of seafarers and shipping professionals. This program is currently supporting shipping students at Hochschule Bremen – City University of Applied Sciences that are taking degree programs in International Ship Management – Nautical Sciences B.Sc. (ISMN) and International Shipping and Chartering B.A. (ISSC).
Lomar has long had a presence in Bremen, a vibrant port city and economic hub with a historic seafaring tradition. Under the final terms of the acquisition, CB’s foundation will support the Achim Boehme Scholarship program, providing approximately $500,000 in additional program funding for German maritime students. All funding from the family and foundation will be used to support the next generation of German seafarers.