zoom Germany-based investment company HCI Capital has taken a further leap into the shipping industry with the acquisition of the compatriot shipping firm Ernst Russ GmbH & Co. KG.According to the company, the acquisition is taking place by means of a capital contribution in kind, which will increase the share capital of HCI Capital by EUR 6.2 million (USD 6.9 million) to EUR 32.4 million.With the acquisition of the 1893-founded Ernst Russ, HCI’s managed fleet and maritime services would be expanded, as “a fleet of seven container and four RoRo vessels” is expected to join their new owner.“The acquisition of Ernst Russ GmbH & Co. KG expands our managed fleet, completes our range of maritime services and underlines the consistency with which we are pursuing our strategy,” Jens Mahnke, Executive Board member at HCI Capital AG, said.Ernst Russ’ other investments include CombiTrade GmbH, an international shipyard agency, and an investment in the broking house Ernst Russ Shipbroker GmbH & Co. KG.“Ernst Russ Shipbroker GmbH & Co. KG will strengthen its service portfolio in the brokerage segment and CombiTrade GmbH will give the group privileged access to a large network of shipyards,” the company said.With the acquisition of Ernst Russ, HCI Group will have more than 40 ships under direct management and over 180 fund vessels managed by other shipping partners.
CRIMESTOPPERS HAS LAUNCHED a campaign to increase public awareness of metal theft, which it said today “affects everyone”.The organisation said today that the crime affects a wide range of businesses and community organisations with items like beer kegs, copper wires, road signs, jewellry, lead roofs and goal posts being reported stolen.There have also been a number of high profile thefts of precious objects, including sculptures and religious relics.Speaking at the launch today, Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne said the rising demand for metal on the international market has pushed the price upwards and has made it “a more attractive criminal enterprise”. Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne and Netwatch CEO David Walsh (Image: Conor Healy Photography).“Metal theft is not a victimless crime,” he said. “Metal theft strikes at the very heart of the community.”Significant financial loss and potentially serious harm, including death, can often result from the theft of metal from utility and rail companies. The removal of lead from roofs can cause significant costs to building and leave them prone to further damage. The theft of beer kegs has a significant economic impact for breweries that have to replace stolen kegs with new ones.Byrne called on the public to contact Crimestoppers if they see any activity that may be linked to the crime, even if the information appears irrelevant, or if they are offered metal for sale.The campaign is supported by Netwatch which also emphasised the serious impact of the thefts on Irish businesses.Calls to Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25 are free and anonymous and you might even receive a reward for the information you provide.Read: Preserved heart of Dublin saint stolen from Christ Church Cathedral>Read: Metal theft crime prevention plan in final stages>