Taylor Wessing partner set to appear on INSOL panel to discuss shipping insolvencies

Oliver Rossbach, partner at the Hamburg office of Taylor Wessing and co-head of the shipping group, will participate in a panel discussion at INSOL Hong Kong about the huge challenges and opportunities in shipping insolvencies and restructurings.

According to the firm, as global shipping enters its sixth year of crisis, the road to recovery is still hampered by a sustained lack of demand and surplus capacity. Due to capital and funding restraints, de-risking, focus on core business and regulatory impacts, European banks — having provided 80 per cent of world shipping finance — are under severe pressure to reduce their shipping exposures.

The industry, on the one hand, is facing lots of insolvencies — after about 150 in the German shipping market alone in the last couple of years, 50 more are expected in 2014. On the other hand, the industry is in desperate need of alternative funding sources.

The firm said that both developments offer great chances for private equity investors to infuse capital into the shipping industry and reap corresponding rewards — be it with respect to distressed deals or with a view to supporting the structural change of the shipping industry by setting up new, larger and more efficient ship-owning entities.