Basel / Miami, November 1st, 2012 - FleetPro Passenger Ship Management ("FleetPro") will commence operation on November 1st, 2012, and be the leading independent manager of passenger ships with a worldwide operation in both the ocean going and river vessel markets.
FleetPro results from the combination of River Advice with 1250 employees and 35 river cruise vessels under management in Europe, the market leader in river cruise vessel management, and of International Shipping Partners which manages 20 passenger vessels, mainly in the luxury expedition sector of the industry, operating with 1100 shore and ship- based personnel as the leading independent manager of small and medium size ocean going cruise ships.
FleetPro will be headquartered in Zug / Switzerland, maintaining the existing operations of River Advice in Basel / Switzerland and International Shipping Partners in Miami / Florida. The founders of both companies will remain involved, both as substantial shareholders and in active management of the group. The transaction is financially supported by a private equity fund, managed by Waterland Private Equity Investments, Netherlands, becoming the new majority shareholder. The group management will consist of Robert Straubhaar (CEO), Robert Heijlands (COO), Christian Hütwohl (CFO) and Niels-Erik Lund who will be responsible for the development and management of ocean going fleet activities.
The continued growth in the passenger ship industry and the increasing need for committed independent and professional management enables River Advice and International Shipping Partners ideal conditions to further develop the growth they have achieved as independent businesses, and to provide the environment for the establishment of FleetPro. FleetPro's strategy will continue to be to provide, (through River Advice and International Shipping Partners), the independent management services that the industry needs with the efficiency that the size of the new group will bring.
FleetPro will not compete with its clients in the ownership of vessels, or with their charterers in the sale and marketing of cruises. It will be a pure service group, providing independent services for both ocean going and river going passenger vessels, including planning, financing and supervision of newbuildings and the rebuilding and refurbishment of existing vessels.
FleetPro believes this merger will create new and exciting opportunities for its clients, the owners, operators and charterers of river and ocean going passenger cruise vessels, as well as for its staff and employees.