Friday, December 19, 2008
Will this affect the markets further? You bet. Although most of the vessels are chartered in, Atlas Shipping are likely linked in chains. As per disclosure, Atlas has about 41 vessels under contract. How much this will affect sentiment and market will be seen in the coming few days.
Copenhagen, December 18, 2008
Today at 10.30 Atlas Shipping A/S filed a petition for bankruptcy with the Bankruptcy Divi-sion of the Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen
Simultaneously with the bankruptcy order in respect of Atlas Shipping A/S, bankruptcy or-ders were issued in respect of Atlas Bulk Shipping A/S and Atlas Shipping Holding A/S.
The Atlas Shipping Group has been operating as an international contractor of tonnage and provider of transport solutions in the dry bulk sector with tonnages ranging from 25,000 to 80,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tons).
Since it was founded in 1996 the group has operated successfully but due to the historic drops in freight rates the management has had to realise that if the group continues its op-erations it will not be able to fulfil its obligations as they fall due.
The Atlas Shipping Group is owned and operated by Bo Kristensen who has been involved in the shipping business for more than 25 years; Bo Kristensen states in connection with the bankruptcy: "It is extremely unfortunate, not least for all our highly skilled employees and our loyal customers, that due to the historic drop in freight rates since August 2008, we have had to realise that within a foreseeable timeframe the group will no longer be able to fulfil all its financial obligations as they fall due".
In 2007 the Atlas Shipping Group had net revenues of USD 789m and a profit from operating activities of USD 109m.
Total revenue in 2008 has been close to USD 1bn, but due to the global crisis in shipping the group has more than halved its profit from ordinary activities, i.e. before making the sub-stantial loss provisions in respect of contracts.
"We unfortunately have to recognise that the present freight rates and the charter-parties we have entered into before the crisis in the shipping business commenced will imply a liquidity loss of approximately USD 3m a week if we continue our operations in their present form. If we continue our operations, our present - and considerable - liquidity, will be spent within three months unless the international freight rates increase dramatically within the same pe-riod", says Bo Kristensen and continues "Therefore we have in consultation with our advisors decided that in the present situation the sensible thing to do is to file a petition for bank-ruptcy."
"We have informed our employees at a meeting today and we have now, with the liquidator, Michael Ziegler of Plesner Law Firm and liquidator Lisa Bo Larsen, Kromann Reumert, started helping our customers get their vessels to the destinations", says Bo Kristensen.
Today the Atlas Shipping Group operates 41 vessels worldwide and has a total of 25 employ-ees.
Please direct all inquiries to Bo Kristensen or Per Møller at +45 3927 9400. Any inquiries in respect of the estate should be directed to Michael Ziegler, Attorney-at-Law, Plesner Law Firm, at +45 3312 1133 or Lisa Bo Larsen, Attorney-at-Law, Kromann Reumert, at +45 7012 1211.