Sovcomflot has finalized the restructuring of its loan portfolio through the sale of more than 10 percent of the operator of tankers and gas carriers’ fleet. The sales were undertaken to meet the European Union’s May 15 deadline for financial institutions to unwind their dealing with Sovcomflot and other sanctioned Russian corporations while the UK government announced that it has extended its deadline to June 30 to end business with Sovcomflot.
“The group disposed of 14 owned vessels,” Sovcomflot said in a statement to The Maritime Executive. The tanker operator did not provide a total number of vessels that it now owns but reports from Russian media are saying the fleet was reduced to 111 vessels.
Sovcomflot is reporting that it achieved the goal to “release a substantial number of vessels from encumbrances. The share of encumbered vessels went down to 10 percent of the whole fleet. The group has reduced its total outstanding debt from $3.0 billion to $1.7 billion.”
Eastern Pacific has been widely recognized as one of the shipowners that benefitted from the sale of assets, winning four of the coveted LNG carriers. The vessels were purchased from a consortium of western banks as part of their efforts to wind-down their dealing with Sovcomflot. The gas carriers are reported to be operating under charter to Shell.
The other transactions are not as clear but there are reports that a shipping company in Dubai and another in Greece each acquired several vessels.