Greek Shipping Tycoon George Economou Secures Significant Stake in Seanergy Maritime

Economou’s Strategic Move Adds to a Year of Maritime Investments, Prompting Industry Speculation

Seanergy Maritime

Greek shipping tycoon George Economou has recently expanded his maritime portfolio with a strategic investment in Nasdaq-listed Seanergy Maritime, a capesize vessel owner. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Economou’s investment entity, Sphinx, a subsidiary of Maryport Navigation, has acquired 1.12 million shares in Seanergy, equivalent to a substantial 5.7% ownership stake in the company led by Stamatis Tsantanis.

This move marks Economou’s third significant investment in the maritime sector this year, following acquisitions in the tanker owner Performance Shipping, associated with the Palios family, and the dry bulk player OceanPal, a spinoff of Diana Shipping. While Economou has expressed clear intentions regarding Performance Shipping, including a cash tender offer and legal action against insiders and directors, the developments at OceanPal have been relatively quiet.

The maritime industry has witnessed various notable transactions this year, with other publicly listed dry bulk players making headlines. Eagle Bulk, a US-based company with a fleet of 52 ultramax/supramax vessels, attracted investments from containership lessor Danaos and Petros Panagiotidis’ bulker and boxship outfit Castor Maritime, securing 16.7% and 14.99% stakes, respectively. Additionally, SwissMarine, led by Peter Weernink, acquired a 5.34% position in Nasdaq-listed US bulker owner Pangaea Logistics Solutions.

Although Tsantanis, the head of Seanergy, maintains significant control through Series B preferred shares and a considerable number of common shares, Economou’s recent move has sparked speculation within the industry. Notably, Konstantinos Konstantakopoulos, chairman and CEO of Greek boxship and bulker owner Costamare, also revealed a 5.1% stake in Seanergy in July.

Based in Athens, Seanergy operates a robust fleet comprising 17 vessels, including one newcastlemax and 16 capes. Despite reporting a net loss of $8.5 million for the first nine months of 2023 on revenues totaling $70.8 million, the company’s shares have reached 52-week highs. This surge is likely attributed to the recent rally in capesize charter rates, a phenomenon not observed in the industry for several years. As Economou’s latest maritime endeavor unfolds, industry observers are keenly watching for further developments and potential implications on Seanergy’s strategic direction and market positioning.

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