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14 Apr 2023

Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance advises Straitsman Limited on passenger ferry sale

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Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance has advised Straitsman Limited, a subsidiary of New Zealand-based StraitsNZ Limited (StraitsNZ), on the sale of a Ro-Ro/Passenger MV Straitsman.

The transaction involved multiple elements, including: a joint venture buying entity; unwinding an existing security package; deregistering the vessel from the New Zealand ship registry; and re-flagging the vessel under the Bahamas flag and placing new securities over it on the same day. This required Stephenson Harwood to liaise with the New Zealand and Bahamas ship registries, as well as the corresponding counsel across multiple jurisdictions.

To accommodate both flag states' requirements regarding the discharge of the existing security and re-registration of the vessel, and to ensure the seamless transfer of the sale proceeds, the parties agreed to make use of an escrow mechanism with Singapore-based The Baltic Exchange acting as escrow agent.

The vessel was delivered in Wellington, New Zealand. It will be renamed and sent to the Channel Islands, where it will undergo berthing trials in Guernsey and Jersey later this year before entering regular service.

The Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance team was led by Singapore-based partner Pedram Norton. London-based managing associate Roderick McGeachy and senior paralegal Periklis Kalampakos assisted with the closing aspects in London.

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Rose Charteris

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