Our shipping company, MINOAN LINES SHIPPING S.A., which is part of the history of Greek Shipping since 1972, owns 48,53% of the shares of HELLENIC SEAWAYS SHIPPING S.A. (“HSW”) and is its largest shareholder but does not participate in the management of the company and does not influence the decision making process of the governing bodies of that company, needs to address the following issues regarding the management of HSW since 2009:
During the period that HSW was controlled by the Executive Management of ANEK, the fiscal results of the company significantly deteriorated, especially during the period between the years 2010 and 2013.
Specifically, while the Equity of HSW amounted to 238 M Euros on 31/12/2009, they were reduced during the next 4 years, following consecutive loss-making fiscal years amounting to total losses of 150 M Euros. As a result, on the 31/12/2013 the Equity Capital was reduced to 86 M Euros.
This deterioration of the fiscal results of HSW can only partially be attributed to the general financial difficulties of the Greek Market during that period. The main responsibility rests on the Executive Members, under the then Executive President, and on their devastating business decisions.
It must be noted that on June 2013, the then Executive President resigned from the Board of Directors of HSW, succumbing to the weight of the unfavorable fiscal results of the company and to the weight of certain occasions of conflict of interests, mismanagement and wrong investment decisions, which had been highlighted by the then members of the BoD of HSW which represented Minoan Lines.
Unfortunately, the business decisions of the successor Executive Management Team make it hard to believe that the management is exercised “according to the principles of sound management”.
Specifically, the executive management team of HSW under Antonios Agapitos, Managing Director, sold and purchased vessels with no strategic plan and made extensive refurbishments of ships that on certain occasions the overrun of the costs was so excessive that could lead to legal implications. Those actions caused a major capital outflow and finally led the company to the present financial difficulties.
As a result, our company having no other option, was forced to file a petition, under article 39§1 of C.L. 2190/1920, to the Board of Directors of HSW for the convocation of an extra-ordinary General Meeting of the Shareholders to address:
- the sale of the vessel HIGHSPEED 6, without prior notifying our company, the reasons for selling the vessel and for withdrawing he from profitable lines,
- the inaction of the executive management team regarding making inquiries and finding the persons responsible and taking the necessary legal measures on the case of cost overruns for the ships’ refurbishments and
- evaluating and explaining the current fiscal results of HSW since the last Ordinary General Meeting.
We further invite Piraeus Bank, the largest Bank in Greece and an important shareholder of HSW, to support our fair claim, so we can jointly protect the assets of our shareholders.