One of the Greek Shipping community’s most enthusiastic individuals who has been actively involved by participating and acting as the founder of numerous local and foreign registered start-ups and projects up to today is Capt. Gabriel Petridis.
Having served for about 3 years as an Officer in the Greek Navy, he has dedicated over 18 years as an Officer and Master onboard an array of different vessel types such as Tankers, bulk carriers, multi-purpose, containership and reefers.
Following his retirement from his offshore duties in 1986, he held senior management position as Director of World Carriers Corporation, a London based maritime company which owned and managed a fleet of about 20 tankers mainly VLCCs and product carriers.
Year 1991. A partnership with Bonyad Shipping Co. an Iranian foundation and with Mr. Mons Bolin, Captain G. Petridis founded Seabon Holdings Corp., in London.
The company was initially acting as ship operators. Their target was to secure Contracts of Affreightment (COA) worldwide across the dry bulk and wet segment, such as sugar, rice, various grains, fertilizers, iron ore and vegetable oils. Within the first year of operations, the company chartered about 50 vessels to service their existing COA. Within the same year of the company’s incorporation the first dry cargo vessel purchased to service its trading operations and within less than 2 years the owned fleet expanded to about 10 dry cargo ships.
Year 1992. The technical ship management and operations desk were transferred to Athens, leaving the London office to primarily focus on all commercial and chartering matters.
Year-on-year business activities augmented and transportation of various commodities multiplied in terms of cargo volumes and different types of cargoes such as refrigerated, chemicals and gases.
Year 1994. The principals entered the reefer market, resulting major success by transporting fresh products such as bananas and citrus from South America to Europe and Russia (citrus, being the providers of 40% of the Russian market imports) and frozen meat and fish to various destinations.
Year 1995. The company started to develop a considerable number of its own reefer fleet to servicing its contracts. Representative offices apart London were established internationally (Buenos Aires, Piraeus, Odessa, Tehran, Manila) to support and meet the company’s increasing needs in terms of cargoes and ships.
Year 1997. Portfolio diversification took place with various investments carried out including the acquisition of 5 chemical tankers. Magnus Carriers Corp. was established, acting as technical ship managers of the Group’s a diverse owned fleet including tankers (crude/ product/chemical), reefers, containerships, bulk and LPG. Magnus Carriers Corp. also was responsible for running many troubled vessels over a period belonging to 3rd party owners and which were entrusted by international banks and private financial institutions to the Group with the aim to convert them into efficiently performing assets.
Year 2002. Τhe Group under the name Aries Energy Corp. (AEC) apart of its own fleet had also entered into various joint venture with companies such as Pacific Basin of Hong Kong and Stena of Sweden and purchased several product carriers.
Year 2003. Τhe partnership with Bonyad Shipping Co. terminated and AEC entered a new era by starting to acquire many different types of ships with the support of various international banks and financial institutions that had great respect and trust to the Aries Group principals.
Year 2005. A Norwegian KS Structure were established across 2 containership vessels accumulating a successful 40% return over a 6-month period to its investors.
Within the same year the Group allocated part of its fleet of tankers and container ships to a new company under the name Aries Maritime Transport LTD with the aim to become a public listed company in NASDAQ. Having radically increased the commercial value of the fleet with the existence of long-term employment contracts, shares were issued which were then offered to potential (international) investors who had expressed an interest. The company with ticker symbol ticker symbol RAMS launched on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in an initial public offering of 13,640,000 of its common shares on the 3rd day of June 2005.The principals of the company retained 52% of the company. The public listed company owned, operated and later managed (prior ship managers were Magnus Carriers Corp.) a fleet of 12 vessels. In 2009 the company was later sold, trading on the US Stock Exchange as Newlead Holdings.
Year 2007. After thorough market research and identifying the market trend of increasing demand for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and LPG carriers, the principals decided to diversify their sources of revenue by purchasing the second largest LPG terminal in Europe, owned by Industria Petroliera Maritima (IPEM) Group situated in Brindisi, South East of Italy. Its total storage capacity of 29,600cbm is the only one in Italy that is capable to receive large LPG carriers VLGC loaded from countries in the Arabian Peninsula. The terminal was trading apart of the chemicals also more than 300,000 tons of LPG covering a substantial percentage of the Italian market and its neighboring countries.
The IPEM group was composed of 5 companies illustrated hereunder:
- IPEM: the group trading arm and brindisi terminal operator
- Constiero Adriatico: the company holding assets of the IPEM groups subsidiaries
- Autogas Medidonale: whole sale company
- Adriatica Centrogaz : wholesale company for the Ancona area
- Copertoi: company in charge of security matters
Within the same year, another successful acquisition took place in Norway, a company based in Aalesund known as Ugelstad Rederi A/S; comprising of a rich and active history of over 80 years, founded by Mr. Samuel Ugelstad Sr dated back to 1929. Until 1975, the company owned and operated mostly tanker vessels, however due to the spike in oil prices which lead to the energy exploration of the sea (offshore) there was a radical change in the strategic direction of the company, investing primarily in offshore SPVs. The acquisition of the company included its assets comprising of 6 state-of-the-art SPVs operating in the North Sea and West Africa. The vessels were all chartered on long term employment to the Majors. The company was re-branded and renamed as Aries Offshore Services A/S.
Year 2008. Following this big investment, 5 LPG carriers were then purchased creating a fleet under the umbrella of Glory Shipmanagement Inc. a company which was controlled 100 pct. by the AEC Group.
Year 2009. A joint venture under the name of Vinde Trading S.A was established with Bhatia International PTE LTD, one of the largest coal traders in India with main purpose to acquire second hand large bulk carriers and build new ones. Through the financial facilities of the AEC Group, Vinde Trading S.A purchased one second hand panamax and ordered a fleet of 4 new building geared kamsarmaxes with a total investment of about US$260m and all ships were chartered for 10 years to Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd., the power stations of India and to TATA steel for same period and with charter rates close to US$40,000 per day.
Year 2012. Due to the multiple business activities Capt. Petridis had established, the Group was restructured and rebranded as Aries Energy and Transport Corp.
Years 2013-2018. Within this timeframe, the company had entered in several joint ventures with private companies mainly involving with LPG vessels and Tankers in the Middle Eastern region. For an approximate 3-year period both technical and commercial ship management offices were registered and operated from the United Arab Emirates.
Recently, an MOU has been signed for setting up a Joint Venture with state company Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines). Apart from having established an operating office in Hanoi, the company has also interest in a management company based in Singapore.
Year 2019. Ship operator expansion underway in WAFR region and especially Nigeria, in partnership with esteemed Indigenous Business Group, focusing in Tankers (Crude Oil, Products) and LPG Carriers.
The Group’s main shareholder Cpt G. Petridis has incorporated and acquired multiple different companies over the years range from trading, real estate, to renewable energy however his major focus is reflected though his compassion and commitment towards the maritime industry. Since his debut in 1991, he has owned, operated and managed commercially and technically under different companies an excess of 84 ships of all types and sizes, trading worldwide. Whilst his relations with the consortium from different countries and more than 25 world renowned banks and financiers which have supported the Group repetitively over the years has been outstanding despite the market’s volatile cycles.
After years of hand’s on experience and in-depth knowledge across the maritime industry, Capt. Petridis objectives and core beliefs for long term success relate to fulfilling obligations and reassuring performance, at all times.