Pioneer Marine completes management buyout

Greece’s Pioneer Marine has finalized a management buyout that has seen founding US private equity fund Garrison Investment Group exit the company. The bulker manager and owner, which is listed on Oslo’s over-the-counter market, said 21m shares held by Garrison were acquired by a company controlled by Pioneer chief executive

Jim Papoulis and chief financial officer Korinna Tapaktsoglou.

Joseph Tansey, Garrison’s founder and managing director, resigned from the board on 8 March, together with independent directors Bradley Dietz and Erol Sarikaya. Papoulis took Tansey’s seat on the board, but Pioneer is not replacing the other two.

Last month, Pioneer recruited a former DVB Bank veteran to its operation in Singapore. Frans van de Bospoort was appointed a non-executive director of Pioneer Marine Advisers — a Singapore-based entity that is part of Pioneer Marine’s commercial platform.

A deal was struck last summer for the management buyout following the sale of all but one of the company’s 13 bulkers. One handysize — the 37,000-dwt Resolute Bay (built 2012) — is all that remains. Pioneer has said it now manages 13 ships. The Resolute Bay is one of these.

The other director listed on the website is asset manager Petros Poulmentis, who is also on the board of Tufton’s Oceanic Finance Group.

Pioneer Marine was formed in 2013 by Pankaj Khanna, the former operations chief of Greek bulker and tanker owner DryShips, with backing from Garrison. Papoulis and Tapaktsoglou formed part of the new management team that replaced Khanna after he left in 2017, moving the company from Singapore to Greece.

Source: Tradewinds