April 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM EDT
AlixPartners Launches Dedicated Maritime Group
Weak Industry Balance Sheets Could Lead to Further Consolidation, Firm Predicts

NEW YORK, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the $380-billion international maritime industry continues to try to find its bearings following the perfect storm of the financial crisis, the Great Recession and skyrocketing fuel costs, AlixPartners, the global business-advisory firm, today announced that it has officially christened its cross-functional group that helps clients in this space the AlixPartners Global Maritime Practice.  The firm also stated today that while companies in the maritime industry have recently announced significant cost-savings initiatives, many balance sheets in the industry are still extremely weak, which could lead to further consolidation in the industry in the year ahead.

Said Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners:  "Approximately 90% of world trade is carried by the international maritime industry, and as the industry continues to dig out from the global recession and resulting vessel overcapacity, maritime companies and their owners and creditors will face an increasingly challenging environment where cash-management pressures and critical operational issues will be accentuated by the ongoing sluggish global economic outlook.  Our maritime team at AlixPartners is deeply experienced, and able to offer - anywhere in world - comprehensive solutions to companies, owners or creditors across the entire spectrum of operations, capital structuring and transaction advisory."  

AlixPartners' maritime team has established a reputation around the world for successfully working through a spectrum of extremely complex shipping situations, on both the company/sponsor side and the creditor side.  AlixPartners' areas of assistance and advice in the shipping space spans restructuring, complex financial stakeholder negotiation, aggressive cash management, business-plan development and constituency relationship management. The firm has maritime and other transportation experts based around the globe, such as North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Greece.

AlixPartners' Global Maritime Practice leaders include:  

-    Paul Svindland, a North America-based managing director who formerly worked for A.P. Moller-Maersk Group and who has worked on multiple engagements recently in the break-bulk, container and port-operations sectors;   
-    Albert Stein, a London-based managing director with more than 30 years of experience who specializes in complex cross-border cases;
-    Donald Featherstone, a London-based managing director who leads the firm's Turnaround and Restructuring Services unit in EMEA;
-    Lisa Donahue, a North America-based managing director who also co-leads the firm's Turnaround and Restructuring Services unit in North America;
-    Axel Schulte, a Germany-based managing director with over 18 years of experience in the corporate restructuring and turnaround business;
-    Eric Thompson, a Hong Kong-based managing director who served as CEO and chief restructuring officer of the Australasia offshore oil-production company Rubicon Offshore International Ltd. and who also has served as an interim manager and investor as well as a consultant for multinational companies in a wide variety of industries;
-    Esben Christensen, a North America-based director who has more than a dozen years of experience in the international transportation industry and formerly worked for A.P. Moller-Maersk Group;
-    Jeff Drake, a London-based director who has more than 25 years of experience both in strategic consulting and senior executive roles in several global shipping companies; and
-    Koichi Kawaguchi, a Tokyo-based director with extensive experience in finance, cross-border M &A transactions and transport restructuring and turnaround who formerly worked for Advantage Partners and  KPMG.

Said Svindland:  "Despite somewhat better times today, many players in the maritime industry still have only weeks' of liquidity on their balance sheets and many are in violation of debt covenants, meaning that a lot more consolidation could be in the offing, especially if corrective actions are not taken.  Sub-scale operators will find the going the most difficult.  Meanwhile, companies lucky enough to be looking for top-line improvements today also face their own set of challenges, particularly as the global economy continues to sputter.  Our cross-functional team at AlixPartners, which includes performance-improvement as well as turnaround and restructuring experts, is uniquely positioned to help companies and their stakeholders at any point along the company-health continuum."

About AlixPartners

AlixPartners LLP is a global business-advisory firm offering comprehensive services in four major areas: turnaround and restructuring, financial-advisory services, enterprise improvement and information-management services. Founded in 1981, the firm has more than 900 professionals in offices around the world, and can be found on the Web at www.alixpartners.com.

The AlixPartners LLP logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11665

CONTACT:  Tim Yost
          +1.248.204.8689
          tyost@alixpartners.com
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