84. Evangelos Marinakis, principal Capital Product Partners

Marinakis keeps Capital Maritime on an even keel

12 December 2012

ALTHOUGH success in the shipping markets in 2012 did not come as easy as the triumphs of his iconic Piraeus football club Olympiakos, rampant in the Greek Superleague, this year has underlined the strength of Evangelos Marinakis’ Capital Maritime group.

The company has maintained an even keel as others in the tanker industry have buckled. Mr Marinakis and Capital own about 30% of Nasdaq-listed

Capital Product Partners, which was boosted to 25 vessels, all but one of them tankers, by a September 2011 merger with Capital-linked stablemate Crude Carriers.

The move created one of the largest and most modern US-listed tanker outfits. At the heart of the fleet are 18 modern medium range tankers, of which 13 are ice-class 1A, one of the largest such fleets in operation.

Mr Marinakis’ private empire has not been shy about shielding the public company from the full force of tanker market woes.

Privately held Capital Maritime has been innovative in stepping in as a period charterer for several Capital Product vessels when an acceptable charter could not readily be found on the open market.

By late-2012, the sponsoring company was comfortably the largest counterparty, with 11 of Capital Product’s vessels on hire at market rates, or better.

The company has shown its clout in other ways. Notably, it sold $140m worth of preferred units to a group of investors including Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Swank Capital, Salient Partners and Capital Maritime, in a move to repay about $150m in debt and secure deferral of debt amortisation instalments until well into 2016.

Outside the public company, Mr Marinakis’ group has been focusing heavily on the container sector for which it is taking delivery of five 5,023 teu newbuildings chartered to Hyundai Merchant Marine for more than 10 years.

The last year has also seen Capital grab two five-year-old 8,000 teu post-panamax vessels from

MISC, which have been fixed to Maersk. Its continuing interest in boxships is illustrated by a reputed participation in the tender for a series of newbuildings for charter to Yang Ming Marine.

However, growth ideas are not confined to containerships. The group is also said to be inspecting bulk carriers and tankers of various vintages as it scours the markets for the best opportunities.