84. Evangelos Marinakis, principal, Capital Maritime

Shrewd merger move sees Piraeus owner escape worst of tanker turmoil

15 November 2011

WITH most other tanker companies swimming in the red during 2011, Evangelos Marinakis’ Capital Product Partners has maintained an even keel and reiterated its intent to continue paying a dividend to shareholders.

This does not mean that the dynamic Piraeus-based shipowner has emerged completely unscathed from the meltdown in tanker freight rates. Crude Carriers, his promising big tanker outfit, which was launched on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2010, was a victim of the weak spot market.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Mr Marinakis turned this into a positive with a merger between the two stablemates, boosting Capital Product’s place in the league of largest US-listed tanker vehicles and reaffirming it as the youngest fleet among its listed peers. This move also prompted Mr Marinakis’ marginal rise in our ranking.

While the group can point to a blue-chip portfolio of charterers such as BP, Shell, Petrobras, Pemex, Cosco and others, Mr Marinakis has not been shy about stepping forward to charter the public company’s ships whenever he has felt investors required greater forward security.

A tactic which worked hitherto for several of its product tankers, it has been extended lately as his privately held Capital Maritime & Trading has inked charters of up to three years at above-market rates for two ex-Crude Carriers VLCCs and two suezmaxes.

His private group has also expanded its foothold in the box trades, with a first newbuilding order for a series of up to 10 post-panamax vessels at Hyundai Heavy Industries. Five of the 5,000 teu boxships are already firm and have been chartered at healthy rates to Hyundai Merchant Marine for more than 10 years.

As if all this were not enough, since mid-2010 Mr Marinakis has controlled Greece’s most successful football club, Piraeus’ hometown team Olympiakos.

He celebrated a 38th domestic league title for the club in 2011 and as president has made it a priority to strengthen the club’s social role.