65. Evangelos Marinakis, Capital Maritime

Owner has enhanced the standing of his shipping group during a year that has forced others to take backward steps

16 December 2015

EVANGELOS Marinakis frequently makes headlines for non-marine reasons, due to a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as his ownership of the Olympiacos football club and his membership of Piraeus’ municipal council.

But 2015 saw him enhance the standing of his shipping group during a year that forced many other shipowners to take backward steps.

While a number of master limited partnerships in the shipping space stuttered, Capital Product Partners, the MLP sponsored by Mr Marinakis’ Capital Maritime & Trading group, has expanded its fleet and its drop-down pipeline for the future, as well as being able to announce it will be raising its distribution by 2% to 3% a year for the foreseeable future.

The strategy has been to expand and renew the fleet in the partnership’s traditional product tanker sector, while furthering a diversification into containerships begun in 2013 in order to boost Capital Product’s long-term charter coverage.  

The shipowner’s clout in the capital markets will not have been harmed, either, by partnering Monarch Alternative Capital in one of the relatively few conspicuously profitable forays into shipping by private equity.

Five post-panamax containerships ordered by the Capital Maritime and Monarch partnership and then fixed on multi-year charters to Maersk and Cosco were sold in two separate deals to Ship Finance International and to MC-Seamax, a fund associated with Mitsubishi. 

A reported price of about $96m each for the vessels represented a handsome check-out for both Capital and its private equity partner.

The owner’s interest in container tonnage was underlined by two purchases of incomplete newbuildings, with capacities of about 2,000 teu and 1,700 teu respectively.

Capital Maritime is said to be enjoying record profitability from its tanker exposure. Recently, for example, the 13 year-old suezmax Altergo II was locked in at the top of the market for five years for a project in Norway.

Mr Marinakis has been loading up on more tankers. Two medium-range product tankers and two options have been added to Capital Maritime’s previous 10 MR orders. It has also acquired two smaller 14,000 dwt tankers on order in China.

On the crude oil side, four ice-class aframaxes, with options for four more, have been contracted from South Korea’s Daehan Shipbuilding. Two of the four firm newbuildings have already been chartered for five-year periods to a US-based oil company.

With what seems like impeccable timing, two very large crude carrier newbuildings are being delivered to bring Capital’s privately-held VLCC fleet to six units.

Overall his group, including Nasdaq-listed Capital Product, controls about 70 vessels and the next move may come on the dry side, as Mr Marinakis is known to see an opportunity in the current dry bulk slump for stronger players.

Mr Marinakis also appeared in the Top 100 in 2010201120122013 and 2014.