Ship's Bow

WFW advises CIT Maritime Finance on US$95 million financing for 12 drybulk vessels

28 April 2014


Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it advised sole lead arranger CIT Maritime Finance, in relation to a US$95.2 million senior secured credit facility it provided to Heron Ventures. The financing supports Heron’s acquisition of a fleet of 12 drybulk vessels and related assets from bankrupt Italian shipping company Deiulemar Shipping.

The financing was provided by CIT Bank, the US commercial bank subsidiary of CIT Group, a financial holding company with more than US$35 billion in financing and leasing assets. Heron Ventures is a joint venture between Oceanbulk Shipping and ABY Group Holding. Deiulemar Shipping was declared bankrupt by the Italian courts in 2010, with liabilities of more than €500m.

WFW’s multi-jurisdictional deal team advised CIT on the financing of the vessels purchased pursuant to a court-mandated bankruptcy auction sale in Naples, Italy. The deal was concluded on a very tight timetable, which was also mandated by the court and abided by all parties involved.

The multi-jurisdictional WFW deal team was led by London Maritime partner Kavita Shah, with support from Asset Finance partners Furio Samela (WFW Rome) and Leo Chang (WFW New York), Maritime senior associate John Man, associate Constance Daws (both WFW London), and Asset Finance associates Michele Autuori and Emanuele Caretti (both WFW Rome). WFW Rome Head of Tax Raffaele Villa provided tax advice.

WFW London Maritime partner Kavita Shah said: “We are delighted to have advised CIT Maritime Finance on this complex transaction, which was completed in just over four weeks; an extremely compressed timeframe for a deal of the magnitude. In addition, we had to meet the very stringent legal requirements imposed by the Italian court. WFW’s ability to field a multi-jurisdictional team and work seamlessly across offices went a long way to help ensure the deal was able to be completed, and highlights both the strength and depth of the firm’s market-leading capabilities in the maritime finance sector.”