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Burke Hits the Pool

August 19, 2013

Published in TradeWinds

Ridgebury Tankers’ first ship is bound for the pooling operation of its Connecticut neighbour, Heidmar Inc.

The two companies jointly disclosed today that the suezmax to be known as Ridgebury Lessley B is heading to Heidmar’s Blue Fin Tankers pool come October.

As TradeWinds was first to report, Bob Burke-led Ridgebury finally secured its first vessel last week when it snapped up the 158,000-dwt D’Amico resale newbuilding for $51m. It is nearing completion at Samsung Heavy Industries.

Ridgebury wasted little time placing the unit with Blue Fin, bringing that pool to 19 units. While attracted by the bargain price on the suezmax, Ridgebury reverted to a focus on products tonnage when it acquired the 46,000-dwt Challenge Pioneer and Challenge Paradise (both built 2007) from Japan’s Doun Kisen for $40m en bloc later in the week. The suezmax for now looks like a one-off investment.

“Heidmar was an early and consistent supporter of Ridgebury so we are particularly pleased to have our first vessel, the “Ridgebury Lessley B”, become the latest member of Blue Fin,”

—Bob Burke, Ridgebury’s CEO

“Based upon the trading results of Blue Fin as well as the transparency and management style of the Heidmar pools, we believe that Blue Fin is the best fit for Ridgebury.”

Heidmar managing director Peter Bell welcomed Blue Fin’s 10th member, adding, “We look forward to a long and successful relationship between the companies.”

Ridgebury, based in Westport, is backed by private equity’s Riverstone Holdings. Heidmar is based in nearby Norwalk.