59 Evangelos Marinakis, Capital Group

Greek owner remains a highly active player, signing off on a new tanker merger and a dynamic entry into the LNG shipping game, among other moves

13 December 2018

Evangelos Marinakis remains as busy in the shipping markets as he is with his activities in sport, media and philanthropy outside the maritime sphere. Signature moves in recent months have included a dynamic entry into the LNG shipping business, boosting Capital Group’s VLCC fleet and a merger spin-off of Naadaq-listed Capital Product Partners’ tanker business

Greek owner remains a highly active player, signing off on a new tanker merger and a dynamic entry into the LNG shipping game, among other moves

EVANGELOS Marinakis remains one of the most active players across several shipping sectors. His Greece-based Capital Group is still on an upward trajectory and is set to emerge with a strengthened fleet by 2020.

Since our previous Top 100 circulated, the owner has made the most dynamic entrance to the liquefied natural gas shipping sector by any Greek company for many years.

Newly formed Capital Gas ordered four 174,000 cu m X-DF LNG carriers from Hyundai Heavy Industries for close to $750m, with deliveries scheduled for 2020. Options under the initial contract could extend the series further.

Also for 2020 delivery are four scrubber-fitted very large crude carrier newbuildings contracted at Samsung Heavy Industries. The quartet has been lease-financed for about $210m by Chinese leasing houses CMB Financial and ICBC Leasing in one of the very first such transactions for VLCCs.

Mr Marinakis is said to regard big tankers as a strategic segment. He already has six VLCCs in the water, of which four have been locked into attractive five- to seven-year bareboat charters with Iraq- and UAE-based Al-Iraqia Shipping Services & Oil Trading.

Commercially, Capital has been deftly navigating the challenging tanker market, managing within 2018 to fix an aggregate of about 20 years of time charter business with Total, Shell, Repsol and Petrobras.

Opportunistically, the owner has also ordered two scrubber-fitted aframax tankers from Daehan Shipbuilding for delivery in January and February, 2020.

He has long been a player in the public shipping market with Capital Product Partners, a master limited partnership that has become a diversified shipowner in recent years.

In November, Capital Product agreed to spin off its product and crude tanker business in a $1.65bn merger transaction with DSS Holdings. Capital Product unitholders, including Mr Marinakis, will hold about 33% of newly created Diamond S Shipping, which will have a fleet of 68 tankers.

Mr Marinakis is expected to control a stake of about 5% in the new company and his shipmanagement outfit, Capital Ship Management, will continue technically to manage the 25 tankers contributed by Capital Partners.

Nasdaq-listed Capital Product will be left with an existing fleet of 10 container vessels and one capesize bulker. It intends to continue as a listed partnership and rebuild the fleet through vessel acquisitions in various shipping segments.

The owner’s strong privately owned fleet could be the source of ready-to-hand dropdowns to the Nasdaq-listed partnership, as has been the case in the past.

In Greece, Mr Marinakis is a well-known public figure — not least for his ownership of iconic Piraeus football club, Olympiacos FC, but also for his control of one of the country’s foremost media groups and a wide range of philanthropic activities, often in support of children’s charities, refugees and cultural causes.

Mr Marinakis also appeared in the Top 100 in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.