Latsis sets up new Marla Tankers management

Greek owner said to has formed outfit to operate recently bought LR2 vessels

Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis has set up a new shipmanagement outfit, possibly dedicated to the running of the secondhand tankers he started buying two months ago.

Marla Tankers Shipmanagement registered with Greek authorities in June, shipping ministry documents show.

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The company is domiciled within the Latsis group headquarters in Athens. Its legal representatives are the same as those who signed responsibility for Marla Shipmanagement, a separate Latsis outfit that manages four supramax bulkers the Greek owner bought with partners last year.

The Marla brand, whose name is a contraction of Marianna Latsis, Kassidokostas-Latsis’ mother, seems to be at the centre of many of his recent activities. Alongside Marla Shipmanagement and Marla Tankers Shipmanagement, the group also registered a shipbroking outfit called Marla Brokers with Greek authorities a few months ago.

Latsis group officials declined to comment or elaborate on the establishment of Marla Tankers Shipmanagement. The group’s previous moves suggest that the new outfit will be managing LR2 tankers that Kassidokostas-Latsis bought from Greek peer Chandris (Hellas) in May. These were the 115,760-dwt Amorea and Aegea (both built 2009), acquired for about $23.7m each.

The Greek owner bought these ships as part of a new venture formed to engage in asset plays in the tanker market. He revealed its existence in a meeting with journalists during Posidonia.

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Kassidokostas-Latsis declined to divulge the venture’s name or the identity of his partners. However, he did explain that the outfit was similar in spirit to dry bulk asset play vehicle Ivy Shipping, which owns the four supramaxes he bought last year.

The new tanker firm would “certainly” acquire more ships, Kassidokostas-Latsis said. He explained that one of the reasons he invested in coated aframaxes was that they could trade crude oil and petroleum products.

This flexibility may prove particularly valuable after 2020, when an overhaul of bunkering regulations is expected to play to the advantage of product tankers.