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WFW advises ZEABORN on the acquisition of Rickmers Linie13 February 2017

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised ZEABORN GmbH & Co. KG of Bremen (“ZEABORN”) on the acquisition of Rickmers Linie.

Formerly part of the Hamburg-headquartered international maritime Rickmers Group, Rickmers Linie is an expert in the sea-based transport of break bulk, heavy-lift and project cargoes. Its liner services connects important economic centres around the world, most notably via the eastbound “Round-the-World-Pearl-String” service.

ZEABORN acquires the entire Rickmers Linie business, including all its subsidiaries, agencies and employees located in its 15 overseas offices. Furthermore, ZEABORN also takes over a fleet of 14 chartered multi-purpose vessels, as well the participation of “Rickmers Linie” in its subsidiary NPC Projects with offices in Copenhagen, Bangkok, Singapore and Houston.

ZEABORN is a global shipping company providing services along the entire value-added chain of a modern shipping company, from financing, through commercial and technical management to cargo brokerage of its own and chartered vessels. ZEABORN’s main shareholder is Bremen-based entrepreneur Kurt Zech, who also heads up Zech-Group GmbH.

With the acquisition of Rickmers Linie, ZEABORN further develops its international business, and once more highlights its ambitious growth objectives. The transaction is also another example of a consolidation trend in the shipping markets.

The WFW Hamburg team advising ZEABORN was led by Maritime Partner Dr Christian Finnern. He was supported by Corporate Partner Dr Sebastian Baum, Employment Partner Dr Andreas Wiegreffe and Tax Partner Gerrit Bartsch. They were assisted by Corporate Senior Associate Torge Rademacher and Associates Ursula Staab and Florian Leonhard (both Corporate), Tax Associate Timo Kopmann, Employment Associate and Corporate/Maritime Associate Jan Schneidereit.

Christian commented: “We are delighted to have advised ZEABORN on this challenging transaction, which is a landmark acquisition for our clients. Our ability to advise ZEABORN on such a wide ranging and complex transaction is thanks to the experience and expertise of our well-coordinated and multi-practice Maritime Services Group, demonstrating WFW’s standing as one of the ‘go-to’ law firms for the maritime industry in Germany”.

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