Collapse of XL set to impact fishing industry – Fishupdate.com

Collapse of XL set to impact fishing industry Published:  15 September, 2008

EIMSKIP, one of Europe’s largest seaborne fish carriers is set to take a big hit from the collapse of the XL leisure and airline business in Britain last week.

Although the two companies separated some time ago, Eimskip is obligated to pay a loan guarantee of 207-million euros (around £160-million sterling).

The Icelandic Glitnir Bank, which specialises in seafood matters, says this is a serious matter and it is now clear that Eimskip’s two principal shareholders Björgólfur Gudmunsson and Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson along with a group of investors will acquire the claim. Details of the transaction are not available but are likely to be announced soon, but it could involve a share transfer.

Eimskip regularly ships fish from Iceland and the Faroe Islands to the Scotland, the Humber and other European ports and has extensive seafood interests in China and cold stores and frozen food logistic interests in Canada and other countries. Its UK headquarters is at Immingham, near Grimsby.

However, Glitnir stresses despite a third quarter loss of 19.9-million euros (about £16-million) stresses that Eimkip’s operations are in good order despite the high cost of financing. Earnings are strong and the business is essentially sound. Eimskip is currently selling its Canadian based Versacold Atlas business.

Eimskip’s chief executive Gylfi Sigfusson, said: ‘We are diligently working towards our stated goal of reducing debt levels. Several internal restructuring and cost cutting initiatives are being undertaken in response to an anticipated downturn in the transport business driven by a weakening macro-economic landscape.’

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