Concord, Atlas and EMF bank big return on ‘record’ sale of 2007-built aframax

Danish financier says counter-cyclical approach paying off

Denmark’s European Maritime Finance (EMF) and its partners Atlas Maritime and Concord Maritime have concluded a profitable deal to sell an older aframax into India.

The financier said the 116,000-dwt Dakota Strength (built 2007) has gone for a “record” price of $39.5m.

This will deliver a return for EMF of 220% and 115% from the two separate investments it made in the tanker.

“This investment will provide yet another successful return for our clients and continue to build our long-term reputation for achieving excellent returns to our investors,” said EMF chief executive Martin Haugaard.

The ship was bought for $21.5m in 2019 from Arcadia Shipmanagement in Greece.

Brokers had put a price of $40m on the deal, with a special survey passed.

This aligns with independent valuations of the ship, which has been renamed the Kira K under unknown India ownership.

The tanker was the first vessel acquired by Connecticut-based commercial manager Concord Maritime, led by founder and CEO Ben Ognibene.

The ship was under joint ownership. Atlas was the technical manager while Concord was the commercial manager.

The tanker joined Concord’s Dakota Tankers aframax/LR2 pool, which was established in August 2018 and had 10 vessels at that time.

The members were Concord, Atlas Maritime and Chartworld of Greece, and Emarat Maritime of the UAE.

The Dakota Strength traded in the Concord pool for six months from December 2019 until May 2020 and enjoyed historically high spot rates.

Concord then developed and secured a lucrative two-year time charter at $24,000 per day with SAF, a Canadian oil trader, at the peak of the market in May 2020.

This provided solid cash flows during the pandemic and in one of the weakest periods for tankers in recent history, TradeWinds is told.

The charter ended in May 2022 when the market was booming again, and the ship then enjoyed spot exposure in the pool once more, until the sale.

The principals of Atlas and Concord have enjoyed an excellent relationship that dates back almost 20 years, Atlas said.

Stephen Schueler, EMF chairman, added: “We are committed to being market leaders in sustainability and are proud of delivering positive returns for our shareholders. EMF and Atlas Maritime have a strong track record leading the maritime industry transition to greener and cleaner fuel.”

EMF was founded in 2014 to create a bridge between shipowners seeking to raise capital and professional investors who aimed to take advantage of the cyclical characteristics of the maritime world.

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Mirannia Petrocheilou

PURCHASING MANAGER

Mirannia joined Atlas in July 2014 as Purchasing Manager. Prior to joining the company she held various positions of increasing responsibility giving her the qualifications and skills of leading and executing purchasing strategies She holds an MBA from University of Leicester, UK and she is a graduate of Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus. She is responsible for sourcing, negotiating and purchasing of goods, materials and services to meet the ship’s and company’s budget and operational requirements. As a purchasing Manager she has to create sustainable supply chains having efficient suppliers with consistent steady business that secures highest quality of products and services. Her professional approach ensures that value for money is maximized and cost savings are generated.

Katerina Chrisovergis

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Katerina joined Atlas in July 2014 as Accounting Manager. She was introduced to the shipping industry in 2000 when she moved to Greece from Canada. She held the position of D/A controller for clients like Chevron, Exmar and Tankers Int’l at Gulf Agency Company, a leading global provider of shipping & marine services. When GAC relocated its headquarters to Dubai in 2003, she worked as Chief Accountant for a shipowning company with 6 vessels. For the last five years, she worked for the Bernhard Schulte Group as Chief Accountant at Bernhard Schulte-Hellas, manager of the Hanseatic Tankers Pool with a fleet of 12 chemical tankers and at Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Greece manager of 40 vessels. She holds a BCom in Accounting from Concordia University in Montreal and has completed post graduate studies in Accountancy at McGill University.

Aris Mavris

CREW MANAGER

Capt. Aris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in September 2007. He holds a Class B’ Captain license and has obtained a Certificate in Shipping & International Trade and Sea Transport from B.C.A. College (1993) as well as holds an MBA, Master of Shipping, Trade and Transport from the University of Aegean (2002). From 1993 to 1999, he worked for Celebrity Cruises Inc., Miami, Florida. He has held several Marine positions at various shipping companies prior joining Atlas Maritime.

Penelope Kallidoni

HQE MANAGER

Penny joined Atlas in 2009 as ISM/ISO Coordinator. Prior to joining Atlas, she has served as the Operations & Commercial Assistant in a NASDAQ listed shipping company for four years. Experienced in ISO, ISM, and ISPS, MLC & TMSA audits, responsible for Collecting and analyzing HSEQ performance and reporting progress on the implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Monitors safety on a daily basis through past and projected indicators, ensuring that all regulations are being followed in the company. She holds a BSc in Sociology from Panteion University of Athens.

Chris Ioannou

TECHNICAL MANAGER

Chris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in 2020 as Technical Manager. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Houston in Texas. Prior to joining the company he has held various senior engineering positions in the technical department of shipping companies. He was also the project & site manager of the owners’ supervision teams for numerous new-building projects in Europe & Asia including high technology, high efficiency, ECO design product & chemical tankers. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers [ASME].

Basil Dimakakos

COMMERCIAL / OPERATIONS MANAGER

Capt. Basil joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in December 2012 and on 2016 he assumed the responsibility to run Atlas’ Commercial Operations. He is the company’s primary contact, and reports directly to the CEO, for all matters related to S&P and time charter and spot fixtures, while he also monitors the daily vessels’ movement and expenditures. Prior to joining the Company, he worked in Singapore as the General Manager for a commodities trading company and before that, he worked in senior positions in Ship Management companies, mainly in the tanker and and dry cargo sectors, for 20 years. He is a qualified Captain Class A for all type of commercial vessels of unlimited size. His has sea-going experience of more than 12 years, onboard oil tankers, mainly ULCC, VLCC and Aframaxes. He holds MSc degree for Maritime Operations from John Moores University of Liverpool and MBA from Phoenix (Arizona) University

Christos Zenios

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Christos Zenios joined Atlas as the Financial Manager in 2007; he stepped up to the VP-Finance position in 2011 which he held until the end of 2013, when he was entrusted with the CFO role. Since joining Atlas, he has been responsible for modeling and analyzing financial deals for the company, mitigating financial risks, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with Credit and Investment Banks in relation to the capital structure of the company. Additionally, he oversees the Accounting team and works closely with our auditors to ensure the company meets its reporting requirements in a timely and accurate manner. Prior to joining Atlas, he worked for over 5 years in the Banking Sector, where he served as a Senior Credit Officer in the Corporate Banking & Leasing divisions of well established financial institutions in Greece (Piraeus Bank and Bank of Cyprus). He holds an M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Strathclyde (2005), and a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Wales, Cardiff (1997).

Leon Patitsas​

FOUNDER & CEO

Leon founded the company in 2004 and is the Chief Executive officer of Atlas Maritime. He has concluded over $ 1 billion in total transactions (acquisitions and sales) throughout his career. With over 20 years of experience in shipping, he has focused on buying assets at attractive entry points/distressed levels. He has a strong track record in profitably employing the assets and has secured time charter contracts (revenues) of over $500 million, with oil companies (oil majors) and traders. 

He subsequently sold the assets profitably, at the peak of the cycle and successfully produced stellar returns. Prior to founding Atlas Maritime, he gained extensive experience in sales and purchase (acquisitions), chartering, and ship financing, working for renowned Ship-owners in New York, London and Athens.

Leon began his career in New York, working for an investment bank that invested in Hedge Funds and Private Equity. Having extensive knowledge in the capital markets has enabled Atlas to successfully conclude JV’s with major Private Equity firms, in NY and London. Leon is on the board of directors of Concord Maritime, a Commercial Manager, based in Stamford, CT, operating crude tanker pools. He also serves on the Board of directors of the American Club (P&I Club) and is a Council member of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO). 

Leon was born in London and studied in the United States. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Master’s of Science and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.