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Germany’s Shipping Industry Opens to Foreign Investors

by Brian D. Ladin

Brian D. Ladin is a well-established Texas entrepreneur who leads Delos Shipping, which pursues opportunistic investments worldwide. A 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek article highlighted Brian D. Ladin’s strategy in acquiring stakes in German shipping companies, which have been seeing a significant decline in funding from domestic banks and private investors.
In the wake of the Great Recession, investors lost nearly $3 billion in 2012 alone as trade-dependent shipping companies faced insolvency. With German shipping companies traditionally reluctant to take on foreign loans, this changed as economic realities dictated that they find creative ways to stay afloat.
Germany’s fleet is significant, with its 3,000 vessels amounting to some 9.4 percent of the world shipping market. Its presence is particularly pronounced in the container shipping arena, where some one-third of vessels are German-owned. In May 2013, Delos Shipping entered the German market by taking an 80 percent stake in Hamburg-headquartered Koenig & Cie.
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