Sea Containers Ltd.
is a Bermuda
-registered company which operates two main business areas: transport and container leasing.
In March 2006 the company sold its share of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.. Sea Containers Ltd is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy status in the United States.
graduate and retired United States Navy
officer James Sherwood
founded Sea Containers
, with initial capital of $100,000. Over 40 years, Sherwood expanded Sea Containers from a supplier of leased cargo containers, into various shipping companies, as well as expanding the company into luxury hotels and railway trains, including the Venice-Simplon Orient Express
and the Great North Eastern Railway
franchise from London
Although valued with a net worth of £60million in the 2004 Sunday Times Rich List, as Sea Containers hit financial troubles, he has resigned from each of his companies in 2006.
On March 24 2006 Sea Containers announced its intention to withdraw from the ferry business. These are:
The following businesses have already been discontinued:
Related activities include:
- Hart Fenton – a naval architecture and marine engineering company.
- Sea Containers Chartering Ltd.
Sea Containers container leasing business is mainly conducted through GE SeaCo
, a joint venture with GE Capital
. GE SeaCo operates one of the largest marine container fleets in the world. Sea Containers also owns or partly owns five container depots, four container manufacturing facilities and a refrigerated container service business (PartCo International). In addition, it owns one container ship
- Sea Containers Property Services Ltd – property development, property asset management.
- The Illustrated London News Group (ILNG) – publishing
- Fruit farming – Sea Containers owns plantations in West Africa and South America.
- Fairways & Swinford – UK-based business travel agency
In March 2006
, Sherwood resigned from all positions in the various Sea Containers Companies. Sherwood was replaced by company doctor Bob MacKenzie
, while Ian Durant
became senior vice-president of finance.
Despite selling various businesses and asets, Sea Containers announced in early October 2006 that it was unlikely to be able to pay a $115m (£62m) bond due up on 15 October. On 16 October, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The documents revealed that Sea Containers has paid Sherwood $500k, MacKenzie just under £1.4m, and Durant £1.1m.
On 6 November, 2006 the UK Pensions regulator wrote to Sea Containers that it must pay £143m to its two UK pension schemes if it wants to wind them up.