Erck Rickmers Sells E.R. Schiffahrt and Harper Petersen

Erck Rickmers
Erck Rickmers

By The Maritime Executive 02-05-2018 08:04:30

Hamburg entrepreneur Erck Rickmers (53) has decided to sell his ship management and ship brokerage activities. Effective January 1, 2018, Bremen-based Zeaborn Group acquired all shares in E.R. Schiffahrt GmbH & Cie. KG and shipbroker Harper Petersen & Co. 

All staff, approximately 200 employees ashore and 2,800 at sea, will transfer to the Zeaborn Group. Nils Aden, currently Chief Executive Officer of E.R. Schiffahrt, will be responsible for the enlarged ship management activities. Simon Aust will continue to be Chief Executive Officer of Harper Petersen. Hamburg will remain the headquarters of the combined companies. 

“E.R. Schiffahrt and Harper Petersen are well managed and profitable businesses. The combined entity will have a critical size to operate successfully in the competitive global market place,” said Rickmers. “Consolidation among German ship management companies has long been overdue, but is needed in light of future market requirements. Zeaborn is pursuing a dynamic growth strategy that offers its customers and employees promising prospects.”

Selling its ship management and brokerage units does not mean that the Erck Rickmers Group is saying farewell to shipping. With a total of 34 vessels under the E.R.-flag, fully owned or jointly financed with investors, the Group will retain a significant involvement in the maritime industry. Recently, the Erck Rickmers Group established a new company developing shipping investments for institutional investors under the traditional name Blue Star Group.

E.R. Schiffahrt does not own any vessels itself, but is a service company for crewing, technical management and operation of container vessels and bulk carriers. The company was established in 1998 by Erck Rickmers, employs approximately 3,000 people ashore and at sea and manages 81 vessels for international shipowners. 

The business interests of Erck Rickmers are managed by E.R. Capital Holding. The Group is led by Jochen Klösges as Chief Executive Officer and is highly diversified with asset allocation focused on real estate development and ownership, private equity and shipowning.

The transaction is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. Financial details of the transaction are confidential.