Bloomberg News/Jasper Juinen

Amid a relative lack of distress in the U.S. market, some special situations investors have raised capital and added staff focused specifically on the shipping industry, which is itself undergoing a sea change.

From the outside, shipping looks like the kind of space that would naturally attract private investors. The industry is full of smaller players, typically families, and is ripe for consolidation. But the highly cyclical nature of the industry and the comparatively low yield of such investments don’t historically fit with the return expectations of most private equity firms, said Jonathan Montbach, senior vice president at

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