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Many interest in maritime sector

Many interest in maritime sector
Private equity funds are prepared to invest in both ports and ships at the right price, and are eyeing a number of opportunities which are emerging after the recent slide in asset values.

Private equity funds are prepared to invest in both ports and ships at the right price, and are eyeing a number of opportunities which are emerging after the recent slide in asset values.

Private equity funds are prepared to invest in both ports and ships at the right price, and are eyeing a number of opportunities which are emerging after the recent slide in asset values.

That is the experience of Mercator International, a Seattle-headquartered consultancy group that has just gained former Maersk Company UK chief executive Jesper Kjaedegaard as a new partner.

Mr Kjaedegaard, current vice president of the UK"s Chamber of Shipping who takes over as president in April, will be responsible for managing and expanding the firm"s business activities in Europe, the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and Africa.

Mercator advises clients on both current investment portfolios and future projects, and is finding plenty of interest in the maritime sector.

What the firm can provide is expertise on long-term trends to investors who are not familiar with the changing shipping markets and new developments, said Mr Kjaedegaard who resigned from the AP Moller-Maersk group after almost 30 years with the Danish company. He will be the first foreign national to be elected president of Britain"s shipowner association.

With several decades between then working in the shipping industry, Mr Kjaedegaard and other Mercator partners are well-placed to guide private equity funds that want to invest in infrastructure projects such as ports, but have insufficient knowledge about changing shipping patterns that could, for example, have major implications for terminal operators.

?There is a lot of money looking for infrastructure investment opportunities with a three to six year horizon.? he told.

Investors need valuations for holdings

Investors such as pension funds that focused heavily on ports in recent years also need valuations for holdings that are not in listed companies, another service that Mercator is able to provide.

Mr Kjaedegaard also said private equity funds were starting to take a look at the secondhand ship market as prices show signs of levelling out.

Banks are likely to find themselves with ship assets on their books as loans turn sour, but will not want to retain ownership.

That opens up opportunities for long-term investors to take advantage of distressed sales.

?The current environment in global trade and logistics offers many investment opportunities for transportation service providers, as well as for private equity funds,? Mr Kjaedegaard said in a statement.

?At the same time, providers of debt finance, whether for vessel and terminal assets or for mergers and acquisitions, have even greater need than in the recent past for analytical support of prospective investment transactions from external advisors.?

Mr Kjaedegaard joins Steve Rothberg, formerly an executive with Macquarie Capital and Sea-Land Service, and one of Mercator International"s four founding partners.

The two have worked closely in the past on the negotiation of vessel sharing agreements between Maersk Line and Sea-Land Service during the 1990s.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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