Rickmers Maritime, the bankrupt Singapore trustee ship manager, said Tuesday it has secured the approval of the HSH Nordbank syndicate to sell its remaining nine Panamax container vessels to Navios Partners for $54 million.
As the proceeds from the sale of the ships secured by HSH Nordbank are below the outstanding loan, they will be paid in full to the syndicate, Rickmers Maritime said.
The sale of the ships to New York Stock Exchange-listed Navios is expected to be completed in parts from July 12.
After funding cash burn, operating expenses and the settlement of costs associated with the winding up of Rickmers Maritime, unsecured creditors will receive around $27 million, or 11.4 percent of the total due.
Rickmers sold five vessels to Navios for $59 million in late April, just over a week after it announced it was winding up its business after failing to win support from its creditors and bondholders for a planned debt restructuring.
The failure to refinance S$100 million ($72.2 million) of 8.45 percent medium-term loans that was a condition of securing a new $260 million credit facility from its leading lenders led to a default on a $196.7 million principal payment to the NHS Nordbank-led syndicate.
Rickmers, which operated a fleet of 14 classic Panamax vessels of 3,450 TEU to 4,250 TEU, was hard hit by the opening of an enlarged Panama Canal in mid-2016, which enabled the transit of ships up to 13,500 TEU and triggered a sudden slump in charter rates and employment prospects for the small units they replaced.