Croatian industrial group DIV Group has agreed to purchase Norwegian shipyard Kleven Verft from Hurtigruten.
DIV Group is owner of Brodosplit, the largest shipyard in Croatia.
Under the deal, which is expected to be finalized in a matter of weeks, Kleven Verft will keep its name and operate as its own company under the DIV Group umbrella. Kleven Verft is loceted in Ulsteinvik, Norway.
“We have been looking for an owner that we are sure Kleven wants the best,” said Ola Beinnes Fosse, CFO of Kleven Verft. “Several potential buyers have been assessed, and we are absolutely sure that DIV Group is the right owners for Kleven. No one else has been able to demonstrate such a safe and long-term plan for the yard. This is a perfect match.”
Hurtigruten, an expedition cruise ship operator, took an initial 40% stake in Kleven Verft in 2017 as the financially strapped shipyard underwent an extensive restructuring while constructing two hybrid battery-powered expedition cruise ships for Hurtigruten. In 2018, Hurtigruten upped its stake in yard to 100% and exercised an option for a third ship. Hurtigruten’s support is widely credit for saving the yard.
“It’s good that Kleven has now found a new owner with a long-term perspective,” commented Torleif Ernstsen, CFO of Hurtigruten. “Kleven has acquired a unique competence related to the construction of expedition ships that they can further develop. We believe that DIV Group will be very good owners for Kleven.”