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WFW advises CMBFL on US$93.7m sale and leaseback transaction with Star Bulk18 September 2019

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised China Merchant Bank Financial Leasing (“CMBFL”) on a US$93.47m sale and lease back transaction with NASDAQ-listed Star Bulk Carriers Corp (“Starbulk”). The proceeds of the transaction were used to finance the cash consideration in a share and cash transaction for the acquisition of eleven dry bulk vessels from Delphin Shipping LLC.

Founded in 2008, Shanghai-based CMBFL provides financial leasing solutions to large, medium and small businesses across China. It is a subsidiary of China Merchants Bank, the first share-holding commercial bank wholly owned by corporate legal entities in China.

The cross-border WFW Maritime team in Hong Kong, Athens, Hamburg and New York advising CMBFL was led by Hong Kong Partner Christoforos Bisbikos supported by Associate Simon Lin and Trainee Daphne Tso. Greek law advice was provided by Athens Associates Konstantinos Mexias, Katerina Dimitriou and Marilena Kossyfa, while Partner and WFW New York Head Daniel Rodgers advised on Liberian and Marshall Islands law, supported by Associates Amma Ofori, Ace Pawlikowski and Maxi Adamski-de Visser. Hamburg Partner Clemens Hillmer and Associate Jakob Paluszkiewicz advised on the German law aspects of the transaction.

Christoforos commented: “The successful roll out of this transaction demonstrates that Chinese leasing continues to be instrumental in supporting well-known and established shipowning companies by financing the acquisition of fleets. That the deal was documented and the first batch of vessels delivered within three weeks, is testimony to WFW’s capacity to offer seamless advice on complicated matters involving multiple parties, vessels and jurisdictions”.

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