Shipping specialist launches debut fund

M2M, a firm which has been running shipping-focused hedge funds since 2006, has raised $50m on the way to a target of $400m for its first pure private equity shipping fund.

M2M, a specialist shipping investment firm based in London and Athens, is raising a $400 million private equity fund to take advantage of what it describes as “the most attractive vessel acquisition environment in a generation”.

M2M was established in 2005 and currently manages more than $600 million in assets across two hedge funds.

Shipping: a dislocated market

The firm’s flagship hedge fund, Global Maritime Investments, accounts for around $550 million of the firm’s funds under management, and has returned 23.6 percent annualised since its inception in 2006, according to the firm. The new fund, Global Maritime Assets, is M2M’s first foray into pure private equity.

Global Maritime Assets, which has already attracted commitments of $50 million, will buy and operate a fleet of ships for a period of up to 10 years, returning cash to investors from both the operation and sale of the assets.

M2M says that a variety of short-term structural problems in the shipping industry, including a declining market and tough vessel refinancing conditions, present rich opportunities.

“Our investment strategy takes advantage of this implied disconnection between asset prices and likely future cashflows, delivering strong risk-adjusted returns,” Tim Coffin, the fund’s investment manager, said in a statement.

The firm hopes to begin making investments from the fund in the second quarter of this year.