Shipping group Rickmers to file for insolvency as revamp fails

FRANKFURT, May 31 (Reuters) - German shipping group Rickmers said it would file for insolvency after bondholder HSH Nordbank rejected its restructuring plan a day ahead of a last-ditch bondholders’ meeting.

Rickmers had proposed a revamp plan under which the equity stake of owner Bertram Rickmers was to be reduced to 24.9 percent, while bondholders, HSH Nordbank and potentially another bank would hold 75.1 percent.

But HSH “highly surprisingly” rejected that plan, Rickmers said in a statement on Wednesday.

“According to the assessment of the management board and supervisory board of Rickmers Holding AG the positive going concern prognosis of Rickmers Holding AG does therefore no longer apply,” it said, adding its management board would file for insolvency without undue delay.

Rickmers’ loss more than doubled to 341 million euros ($383 million) in 2016, on sales of 483 million euros, amid overcapacity in the market and falling freight rates.

$1 = 0.8902 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan