The owners of Norwegian ferry company Hurtigruten and other well-known players in the Norwegian shipbuilding and shipowning fraternity are investing in Kleven Shipyard, a longstanding builder of offshore vessels and ferries.
Hurtigruten and its owners, Petter Stordalen and TDR, will be the largest partners in a newly established company which will have a 40% share in the shipyard. Its current owners, John Kleven AS and H-Invest AS, are bringing new funds to the company, as are a group of investors including Åge Remøy, former owner of offshore supply ship company Rem Offshore, and Magnus Roth’s InYard Invest, Lürssen-Group, and Per Lillebø.
“It was important for us to bring in new investors with an industrial, long-term perspective and with a shared ambition to further develop Kleven to be a world leading shipbuilding group,” said Kjersti Kleven, chair of the board of Kleven, which is currently building what it claims is the world’s most environmentally friendly expedition vessels – the hybrid-powered vessels Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, for Hurtigruten.
“Kleven was the best candidate for building our new expedition vessels. This shows that the shipbuilding group is world class. Now we are strengthening Kleven, the region and Norwegian shipbuilding industry for the future and further growth,” said Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive of Hurtigruten.
In addition to being one of the new investors, Lürssen – one of the world’s leading designers and builders of superyachts – has entered into a long-term co-operation agreement with Kleven. “We are pleased to see the interest there has been in investing in Kleven. This is a solid and long-term solution, creating opportunities for new and innovative projects,” said Kleven’s chief executive, Ståle Rasmussen.
The yard said the refinancing process is now close to being completed, with some formal conditions pending, including final approval from the company’s banks and GIEK, the Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits.