Kleven Shipyard, a Norwegian shipbuilder which in recent years has constructed two 100m (328ft)-plus explorer superyachts, has been acquired by Hurtigruten, the shipping company which operates a daily coastal service to northern Norway.
Hurtigruten, which in turn is owned by the UK private equity firm TDR Capital, purchased Kleven because the building of two environmentally-friendly hybrid powered expedition vessels was being delayed. Both these ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, are due to be delivered in 2019. Both ships have been designed by Rolls-Royce in association with Espen Oeino.
Kleven built two larger explorer yachts for New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart. The first was a 107m (351ft) superyacht named Ulysses, which was delivered in 2016 and sold last year being renamed Andromeda. The second, also named Ulysses, is a 116m (381ft) yacht delivered to Hart earlier this year.
Last year Hurtigruten led an investment group which also included the German shipyard group Lürssen, InYard Invest and Per Lillebø. This group purchased a 40% stake in Kleven, which also included a refinancing package worth NOK 300m.
In November last year, Lürssen announced that it would team up with Kleven to build a 100m explorer superyacht for an undisclosed buyer. Delivery is set for 2021, so it is unknown at this time if the yacht will be partly constructed in Norway or whether Lürssen will now totally build it in Germany. The plan had been to build the hull and superstructure in Norway and have it fitted out at the Blohm + Voss yard in Germany.
Hurtigruten plans to build another two expedition cruise ships and with this deal they would most likely be constructed at Kleven, but this is not confirmed at this stage.