The shipping investment company formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (NYSE: KKR) and Borealis Maritime has picked up nine shipping vessels.

Embarcadero Maritime, formed in 2013 to invest in distressed shipping assets, has so far acquired 27 vessels in nine transactions. The group's current fleet includes chemical tankers, feeder container vessels and small LPG vessels. KKR and Borealis have spent more than $100 million on vessel acquisitions, and are looking for more deals.

Commerzbank, which originally financed the vessels, coordinated the sales process.

The shipping industry has been struggling because of overcapacity and low vessel earnings. Several shipping groups have landed on Mergers & Acquisitions Distressed Company Watch List, or in bankruptcy protection. Earlier in August, Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc., which had been on our Distressed Company Watch List for months, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Other recent vessel transactions include Signet Maritime Corp.'s deal for eight offshore towing vehicles from Harvey Gulf International Marine and Rand Logistics Inc.'s (Nasdaq: RLOG) acquisition of a chemical tanker in March. 

For more on distressed shipping companies, see "Struggling Shipping Group NewLead Plans to Fight Nasdaq Delisting" and "Floundering FreeSeas Negotiates with Lender." 

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