Legg Mason targets shipping industry debt with fund float

Jonathan Boyd
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Legg Mason targets shipping industry debt with fund float

EnTrustPermal, an affiliate of Legg Mason, has launched an IPO on the London Stock Exchange to raise $250m for the Blue Ocean Maritime Income investment trust, which will target direct lending to the shipping industry.

The manager estimates an ongoing annual debt requirement of some $80bn in the industry, which since the 2008 financial crisis has seen access to traditional sources of financing via banks disappear. Before the crisis, European banks provided more than 80% of the industry’s financing.

The fund targets a yield of 7% annually by lending to what it defines as “high quality” shipping companies, predominantly SMEs.

The strategy has been pursued since September 2016, lending some $300m to finance 55 vessels, the manger said.

The IPO is open for a month. Details are available via www.blueoceanplc.com.

EnTrustPermal is an alternative manager with some $20.7bn in assets under management.