Nick Roos returns with new finance venture

Former Deutsche Bank executive heads "non-bank" supported by a host of well-known shipping investors, including Arne Blystad.

A new ship finance platform led by a former Deutsche Bank executive and backed by a host of respected investors has emerged.

Maritime Asset Partners - which describes itself as a "non-bank" finance platform, is targeting the shipping market at a time when many traditional lenders are stretched or stepping away.

It is led by Nick Roos, who left Deutsche Bank last year, and counts Wafra Capital Partners, Arne Blystad, Birger and Alex Nergaard, Paal and Jannicke Utvik and Axel Stove Lorentzen as investors.

Roos tells TradeWinds that Maritime Asset Partners will focus on both shipping and offshore and is open to a raft of transactions including secured loans, structured equity solutions and sale-and-leasebacks.

Roos, who headed Deutsche's Structured Shipping Finance division, which had a peak portfolio of $8bn, said: “There should be plenty of appetite.”

He explains the non-bank is willing to work with small and mid-cap companies as well as larger corporate clients and is not placing limits on the size of transactions.

“We have capital we can deploy and we are looking for the right deals,” he said, noting available funds are “very scaleable”.

Blystad is well known to the shipping community and has enjoyed success in the past week with his asset play vehicle Songa Bulk raising $100m in fresh capital via a private placement.

Wafra Capital, in which the government of Kuwait is a major shareholder, has also been in the headlines this year, taking a series of VLCCs from Euronav in a sale-and-leaseback deal.

Stove Lorentzen, a 35-year ship investment and broking veteran, has invested in the project via ASL.

Birger and Alex Nergaard, the founder of Four Seasons Ventures and the chairman of Continental Maritime respectively, are involved via family-owned Nergaard Investments Partners.

Further family involvement comes in the form of Paal and Jannicke Utvik, who run LMP from Asia with investments in shipping, oil and gas, power and financial services.