Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised the Blue Ocean division of EnTrust Global (“EnTrust”) on its acquisition of Maas Capital Shipping B.V. (“Maas Capital Shipping”), the private equity platform of ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (“ABN”). The acquired portfolio includes a diversified portfolio of 15 equity joint venture investments, consisting of a fleet of circa 76 high-quality vessels within the product/chemical tanker, dry bulk, LPG, container and offshore services segments. In addition, the portfolio includes an equity stake in a growing intermodal business which leases out container boxes. The acquisition is the latest expansion of EnTrust’s maritime finance strategy, Blue Ocean, which is part of the firm’s broader maritime-focussed Blue Ocean Group.
EnTrust is a leading alternative asset management firm with approximately US$19.7bn in total assets. Co-founded in 1997 by Chairman and CEO Gregg S. Hymowitz, the firm manages assets for 500 institutional investors representing 48 countries and has approximately US$11bn in customised strategic partnerships. EnTrust offers a diverse range of alternative investment opportunities across strategies, including private debt and real assets as well as opportunistic co-investments and direct investments. EnTrust has 11 offices worldwide and is headquartered in New York and London.
Amsterdam-headquartered ABN is a leading international investment bank and the third largest bank in the Netherlands. It has divested itself of Maas Capital to focus its equity investment activities in other areas.
The multi-disciplinary WFW London team that advised EnTrust was led by Corporate Partner Christina Howard and Asset Finance Partner Kavita Shah. They were supported by Senior Corporate Associate Hayley Arrow, Corporate Associates Jamie Tiru and George Robinson and Asset Finance Senior Associate Marinos Papadopoulos and Asset Finance Associate Ella Vries. Partner Solange Leandro led on EU competition and regulatory matters, with Partner Richard Stephens advising on the tax law aspects of the transaction. Compliance expertise and Marshall Islands law advice were provided by New York Partners Daniel Pilarski and Will Vogel respectively.
The WFW team worked closely with Dutch law firm, NautaDutilh, who advised EnTrust on the Dutch law aspects of the transaction and whose multi-disciplinary team was led by Corporate Partner Lieke van der Velden.
Christina commented: “This was a large transaction spanning multiple jurisdictions and asset types including offshore, intermodal, chemical, LPG carriers, dry bulk, containerships and tankers requiring a multi-disciplinary team with extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of maritime transactions including corporate, finance, regulatory and tax”.
Kavita added: “I’m delighted we were able to assist our longstanding client EnTrust Global on this complex matter which involved advising in relation to and coordinating between numerous parties and counterparties in terms of consent processes, amendments and preferred documentation to give effect to these matters. A variety of lenders were involved in the acquisition, including ECAs, this last being an area where WFW has unrivalled expertise. Congratulations to everyone who helped close this landmark transaction successfully”.