Debevoise & Plimpton has advised Universal Cargo Logistics Holding (UCL Holding) in the division of the shipbuilding and shipping business of Volgo-Balt Transport Holding (VBTH) with its minority shareholders, whereby the Vodokhod group – the river cruise business of VBTH – was taken over by the minority shareholders and UCL Holding consolidated 100% of VBTH, which has retained control of all of the shipbuilding and water cargo transportation assets. Chadbourne & Parke advised the minority shareholders on the deal.
Igor Fedorov, CEO of the management company of UCL Holding, noted that the sale of the cruise company Vodokhod outside the VBTH group would enable UCL Holding to focus operational and strategic management on water transportation of bulk dry and oil cargoes, which is the core business of VBTH.
UCL Holding is an international group that transports cargo by railway and river/sea transport, trans-ships cargo in Russian seaports, and provides logistics and shipbuilding services. The group consists of three main divisions based on its core activities: railway (UCL Rail), stevedoring (UCL Port), and shipping & shipbuilding (VBTH). The last of these consists of Volga Shipping, North-Western Shipping Company, V.F. Tanker, and Okskaya Shipyard.
Vodokhod, which has been organizing river cruises in Russia for more than 20 years, is the largest river cruise company in Russia and a full service travel operator. Its fleet includes 23 four-deck cruise ships, nine high-speed passenger vessels, and five leisure vessels. In 2016, Vodokhod carried 497,000 passengers.
The Debevoise team was led by Moscow Partner Dmitri Nikiforov and included Senior Associate Mikhail Movshovich and Associate Oleg Semenov. English law advice was provided by Moscow-based International Counsel Nik Kutnaks. Antitrust matters were covered by International Counsel Anna Maximenko and Associate Elena Klutchareva.
The Chadbourne & Parke team consisted of Partner Konstantin Konstantinov and Associates Dmitry Khotsanov and Yuri Presniakov.