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WFW advises portfoliomanagement on part sale of residual shipping loan portfolio25 February 2022

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised portfoliomanagement (“pm”), the winding-up agency of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein (the “Shareholders”), on the due diligence for the sale of a number of vessels that are part of its remaining shipping loan portfolio to a bidding consortium comprising the Bank of America and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP.

The agreed purchase price of the shipping loan portfolio is higher than the acquisition price paid by pm, allowing its shareholders to fully wind down pm in 2023 with positive equity of approximately €500m before tax. Closing will take place over the course of 2022 and pm will also wind-up the remaining loans still held, which are secured by 18 vessels.

pm was established in December 2015 by the Shareholders as an independent public institution with the responsibility of winding up a portfolio of non-performing ship financing loans taken over from former HSH Nordbank AG (“HSH”) at the end of June 2016. At that time, pm took over loans with a volume of €4.1bn, secured by 253 vessels, from HSH for a purchase price of €2.4bn.

The WFW Germany Assets and Structured Finance team that advised pm was led by Hamburg Partner Dr Clemens Hillmer, supported by Partner Florian Kutzbach in Frankfurt, Managing Associate Jan Mommsen, Associate Raphael-Felix Müller and Associates Anna Kirchhoff, Paula Kleinschmidt and Justus Langelittig in Hamburg as well as associate Kathy Buenaventura in Frankfurt.

Clemens commented: “We are pleased to have been able to advise our long-standing client pm on the due diligence for the sale of much of its remaining shipping loan portfolio. This transaction demonstrates WFW Germany’s ability to advise on complex, multi-national and high-value loan portfolio transactions”.

Correspondent law firms in Singapore, Cyprus and the Isle of Man advised on local law matters.

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