Erck Rickmers Sells Shipping Businesses

E.R. Schiffahrt
Photo: E.R. Schiffahrt

Hamburg-based shipping magnate Erck Rickmers has announced he is selling his ship management and ship brokerage businesses to Bremen-based Zeaborn Group.

Effective January 1, 2018, Zeaborn Group acquired all shares in E.R. Schiffahrt, shipbroker Harper Petersen, and Rickmers Shipmanagement, for an undisclosed sum.

The new entity will manages a fleet of 165 container ships, bulk carriers and multipurpose vessels, with 360 shoreside employees, 5,000 seafarers, and major hubs in Singapore and Manila.

“E.R. Schiffahrt and Harper Petersen are well managed and profitable businesses. The combined entity will have a critical size to operate successfully in the competitive global market place,” noted Rickmers. “Consolidation among German ship management companies has long been overdue, but is needed in light of future market requirements. Zeaborn is pursuing a dynamic growth strategy that offers its customers and employees promising prospects.”

In a statement, E.R. Schiffahrt, which Erck Rickmers founded in 1998, said all staff will transfer to Zeaborn Group. The new company will remain the headquartered in Hamburg.

Meanwhile, Nils Aden, currently Chief Executive Officer of E.R. Schiffahrt, will be responsible for the enlarged ship management activities. Simon Aust will continue to be Chief Executive Officer of Harper Petersen.

Selling its ship management and brokerage units does not mean that the Erck Rickmers Group is saying farewell to shipping.

With a total of 34 vessels under the E.R.-flag, fully owned or jointly financed with investors, the Group retains a significant involvement in the maritime industry. Recently, the Erck Rickmers Group established a new company developing shipping investments for institutional investors under the traditional name Blue Star Group.

The business interests of Erck Rickmers are managed by E.R. Capital Holding. The Group is led by Jochen Klösges as Chief Executive Officer and is highly diversified with asset allocation focused on real estate development and ownership, private equity and ship owning.