The well-known Sanko Steamship company has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in its long history. The company was founded in 1934 and went bankrupt for the first time in 1985 after buying ships that it then struggled to pay for. It then emerged from receivership, ahead of schedule, in the late 1990s.
On 1 April the Sanko managed fleet consisted of 185 ships, including 46 tankers and 27 dry bulk carriers. About 80 per cent of the fleet is hired from other firms, many at high long-term rates agreed before recession struck in 2008. Sanko was to sell 12 vessels, including Sanko Mineral, which was arrested in Baltimore, as well as 15 newbuildings, to improve cash flow.
However, this gesture only served to drive down second-hand prices for bulkers and tankers. In the light of this, it was decided that the best way for reorganisation was to file a petition for commencement of corporate reorganisation proceedings.