Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition cruise operator, has assumed full control of Kleven Verft and two other companies in the Kleven maritime group to ensure completion of the two delayed high specification expedition cruise ships it has on order at the yard, the shipbuilder said in a statement.
Hurtigruten has established a holding company called KVE Holding AS, wgich has acquired Kleven Verft, Kleven Maritime Contracting and Kleven maritime Technology from the Kleven Maritime group for an undisclosed sum. The Myklebust shipyard of Kleven Maritime is not included in the acquisition.
The arrangement will include a liquidity injection of up to NOK100 million in the acquired businesses, with the buyer, clients of the three companies and banks being involved.
Hurtigruten, together with other investors, become a shareholder in the shipyard last autumn. In the cruise industry, only the Genting Hong Kong group and Hurtigruten currently own the shipyards at which they build their vessels. However, conversions of debt to equity is a common method used in restructuring companies that have run in financial difficulties and it has used before both in shipping and in shipbuilding.