Billionaire Ross spends USD100 million for shipping venture
Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor and owner of WL Ross &Co., raised USD100 million to purchase ships hauling coal, iron ore and grains.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Ross articulated his inference about the accelerating demand for dry commodities in emerging markets, which will in turn boost trade.
WL Ross & Co. purchased four Ultramax vessels with options on buying more. Ross said that these 65,000 deadweight-ton ships have the capacity to collect and unload cargoes in less-developed ports. The vessels are expected to be delivered in 2015 by Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industry Co. based in China.
In 2011, Ross was part of a group of investors who spent USD900 million on 30 tankers hauling refined fuels and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). WL Ross & Co. is a major stakeholder in Navigator Holdings Ltd., operator of the world's largest fleet of handy size LPG carriers.
According to Marine Money, private equity firms invested USD4.32 billion in shipping this year, the most since the global recession.