US alternative financier EnTrust Global is continuing its shipping expansion by taking over ABN Amro's Maas Capital.

The deal for the independent subsidiary has been agreed as part of the Dutch lender's disposal of non-core assets, which the bank announced in August 2020.

The Maas portfolio consists of 15 controlling and non-controlling stakes in shipping, intermodal and offshore services related assets.

ABN Amro said the transaction accelerates its disposal programme but did not reveal a sales price.

The lender added: "ABN Amro remains strongly committed as a debt financier for the European shipping sector."

The plan now is for equity investments to focus on digitalisation and sustainability.

ABN Amro said the deal will have a "negligible" impact on the bank's profit and loss.

The Maas Capital team of investment managers will continue to manage the business and portfolio under the new structure.

Europe only

In August last year, ABN said it was exiting all non-European corporate banking activities.

Trade and commodity finance business was to be discontinued completely, and the transport and logistics division will now focus on European clients only.

Non-core activities, representing about 10% of total risk-weight assets, are expected to be wound down over the next three to four years. Around 800 staff work in these divisions.

ABN Amro has been contacted for further comment.

Svein Engh is senior managing director of EnTrust's Blue Ocean. Photo: EnTrust Global

Amsterdam-based Maas Capital has a long-standing track record in the shipping industry.

The company invests together with leading and established shipping players.

Bulker joint venture

In January 2019, Maas formed a dry cargo shipowning venture with Norway's Grieg Star to target supramaxes and ultramaxes.

In May this year, TradeWinds reported GriegMaas was looking to sell one of its six ships in a strong dry bulk sale-and-purchase market.

Brokers said the 58,000-dwt Star Eracle (built 2012) is a sales candidate.

The Dayang Shipbuilding-constructed bulker is expected to fetch about $16m.

Maas also established ClearOcean Tankers in May 2018, a shipowning venture with Dragnis-led Oceangold Tankers and commodity trader Gunvor.

It had four MR2 product tankers being built at STX Offshore and two LR2 product tankers being constructed at Daehan Shipbuilding.

In 2017, Maas became a shareholder in US-based container leasing company CS Leasing and was a shareholder of Poseidon Containers prior to the company's merger with Global Ship Lease in late 2018.

The Maas move follows a deal by EnTrust Global in April to form a new vessel leasing venture with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group.

Shipowning move

The yard group and EnTrust's Purus Marine will own and charter out environmentally advanced newbuildings to help operators with energy transition financing.

Purus was set up by EnTrust as a shipping and infrastructure financing company.

EnTrust Global manages more than $19bn in assets.

In December 2020, the group said it was lining up new eco-shipping investments after closing its latest fundraising drive at $2.1bn.

The group has raised $925m for its Blue Ocean Funds since April alone.

Blue Ocean is part of EnTrust's private debt and real-asset division, offering funds to vessel owners and operators.