Sea Containers Ltd

Sea Containers Ltd

Sea Containers Ltd. is a Bermuda-registered company which operates two main business areas: transport and container leasing.

In March 2006 the company sold its share of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.. Sea Containers Ltd is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy status in the United States [ [http://www.seacontainers.com/dynamic/body.asp?DocumentID=665] ] .

History

Yale University graduate and retired United States Navy officer James Sherwood founded "Sea Containers" in 1965, with initial capital of $100,000 [ [http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Sea-Containers-Ltd-Company-History.html Sea Containers Ltd. - Company History ] ] . Over 40 years, Sherwood expanded Sea Containers from a supplier of leased cargo containers, into various shipping companies, as well as expanding the company into luxury hotels and railway trains, including the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and the Great North Eastern Railway franchise from London to Edinburgh.

Although valued with a net worth of £60million in the 2004 Sunday Times Rich List [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/richlist/person/0,,34291,00.html Sunday Times - Rich List ] ] , as Sea Containers hit financial troubles, he has resigned from each of his companies in 2006.

Transport

Ferry services

On March 24 2006 Sea Containers announced its intention to withdraw from the ferry business. These are:
*SeaStreak – fast ferry services between New York and New Jersey.
*SNAV-Hoverspeed – a joint venture with Italian ferry operator SNAV. Uses the former "Seacat Danmark" as "Zara Jet."
*Aegean Speed Lines – a joint venture in Greece with the Eugenides Group. The service uses the former "Hoverspeed Great Britain" as "Speedrunner 1", which operated in the English Channel and held the Hales Trophy and Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic.

The following businesses have already been discontinued:
*Hoverspeed English Channel services
*SeaCat (Belfast-Troon).

Other

Related activities include:
*Hart Fenton – a naval architecture and marine engineering company.
*Sea Containers Chartering Ltd.

Rail

*GNER – a train operating company which operated high-speed express train services on the United Kingdom’s East Coast Main Line from 1996 through 2007. It was replaced by National Express East Coast.

Containers

Sea Containers container leasing business is mainly conducted through GE SeaCo, a joint venture with GE Capital. GE SeaCo operates one of the largest marine container fleets in the world. Sea Containers also owns or partly owns five container depots, four container manufacturing facilities and a refrigerated container service business (PartCo International). In addition, it owns one container ship

Other activities

* Sea Containers Property Services Ltd – property development, property asset management.
* The Illustrated London News Group (ILNG) – publishing
* Fruit farming – Sea Containers owns plantations in West Africa and South America.
* Fairways & Swinford – UK-based business travel agency

Former Subsidiaries

*Silja Line – fast and conventional services in the Baltic Sea. In June 2006 Silja Line was purchased by Tallink, a ferry company from Estonia. Silja Line is operated as a separate company at this time and continues to use the Silja Line name. As of 2006 Sea Containers still operates the Super Seacat service between Helsinki and Tallinn under the "SuperSeaCat" brand name, competing against fast catamarans of Tallink.
*Orient Express Hotels

Chapter 11

In March 2006, Sherwood resigned from all positions in the various Sea Containers Companies. Sherwood was replaced by company doctor Bob MacKenzie, while Ian Durant became senior vice-president of finance.

Despite selling various businesses and asets, Sea Containers announced in early October 2006 that it was unlikely to be able to pay a $115m (£62m) bond due up on 15 October. On 16 October, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The documents revealed that Sea Containers has paid Sherwood $500k, MacKenzie just under £1.4m, and Durant £1.1m [ [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8209-2524166,00.html Sea Containers paid bosses £1m - Times Online ] ] .

On 6 November, 2006 the UK Pensions regulator wrote to Sea Containers that it must pay £143m to its two UK pension schemes if it wants to wind them up [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6120202.stm BBC NEWS | Business | Pension threat to Sea Containers ] ] .

References

External links

*http://www.seacontainers.com
*http://www.gner.co.uk
*http://www.fairways.co.uk


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