Hurtigruten takes over shipyard

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Hurtigruten, which runs Norway’s famed coastal voyages along with cruises worldwide, has taken over full ownership of the financially troubled Kleven Verft shipyard company, which operates yards in Ulsteinvik and Myklebust. Hurtigruten’s goal is to make sure the vessels it has on order at the yard actually get built.

Hurtigruten is taking over the stakes held by Kleven Verft’s other investors including hotel and real estate owner Petter Stordalen. They had all invested in the yard when it ran into severe economic difficulty after oil prices collapsed in 2014. Its pre-tax loss amounted to NOK 318 million in 2016 and its new owners including Stordalen had to inject it with NOK 300 million in fresh capital when they stepped in with Hurtigruten last year.

Now Hurtigruten is effectively buying out its fellow investors, meaning the vessels it ordered from Kleven in 2016 will become more expensive. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Hurtigruten is taking over only the Kleven yard in Ulsteinvik and related firms, though, leaving the others with Kleven’s smaller yard in Myklebust.

The Hurtigruten-owned company KVE Holding will take over 100 percent of the shares in Kleven Verft as, Kleven Maritime Contracting as and Kleven Maritime Technology. The goal was to avoid bankruptcy of Kleven’s yard, which is being spun off and injected with another NOK 600 million from its owners, customers and banks to boost liquidity. Hurtigruten has two new vessels under construction at the yard for around NOK 1.5 billion. Both have been delayed by several months, forcing Hurtigruten to cancel cruises on them that already had been sold.

newsinenglish.no staff

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