Apollo linked to swoop

US private equity fund Apollo Global is reportedly buying 14 tankers and bulkers from German funds hit by the shipping downturn.

The deal is worth more than $200m, according to German website Manager Magazin.

Investors in the Navalia funds controlled by Ideenkapital of Dusseldorf decided earlier in the year to market the ships for sale.

Apollo is putting $57.5m of its own money into the deal, with NordLB and MM Warburg providing another $147m.

A spokesperson for Ideenkapital was not immediately available on Wednesday.

The fleet is operated by Stella Marine Services of Hamburg. One of its 15 vessels, all named after ports, is not included in the transaction.

The report claims the purchase price is equal to the debt on the vessels, but the original investors will stay involved through the pooling of future revenue.

After Apollo’s 12% charge is taken out, plus running costs, investors may take something home from the deal.

The Stella fleet includes eight supramax bulkers built in Asia between 2001 and 2009, plus four chemical tankers built at STX in 2003 and three products carriers constructed in China between 2002 and 2003.

Apollo has just sold its investment in US cruise company Prestige Cruises for $3bn to NCL.

Its other shipping interests include stakes in NCL itself and Genco, plus a joint venture with Rickmers.