The blue-hulled ships of Germany’s heavylift specialist Beluga Shipping are continuing in employment, but the company is undergoing a substantial financial restructuring after its founder, Niels Stolberg, took a leave of absence in March and a new management team took over in an attempt to hold off bankruptcy. However, on 22 March the management boards of the respective companies announced that they were opening insolvency proceedings at the local court in Bremen.

The firm has taken on a large number of specialised newbuildings over the past several years, including its new P1 and P2 series ships with a lifting capacity of 1,400 tons, but utilisation rates for the specialised vessels have been low because of the recession. Last year Beluga agreed to an infusion of $280 million from the US-based investment firm Oaktree Capital.

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