Bergen Group shipyards reborn as NorYards

NorYardsSEPTEMBER 12, 2013 —  The shipbuilding division of Norway's Bergen Group is about to start a new life, as NorYards AS. It will be 51% percent owned by Calexco, a company with the same ownership as Ukraine's JSC Zaliv  Shipyard, which is ultimately part of the empire of Kostyantin Zhevago, whose other interests include iron ore mining group, Ferrexpo

Asle Solheim (left) CEO of Bergen Group ASA and acting CEO of NorYards AS, and Anders Straumsheim, CEO of Bergen Group Fosen and acting Sales & Marketing Manager of NorYards AS.

According to Bergen Group, NorYards has already taken the necessary steps to prepare for the solicitation of new contracts.

When the sale of the Bergen Group's shipbuilding division to the new company is completed, which is expected to be in first quarter 2014, all existing shipbuilding projects in Bergen Group will, as from that date, be completed by NorYards AS under service agreements, ensuring agreed quality and delivery times.

For the interim period until permanent recruiting has been carried out, NorYards AS will be managed by the following key personnel with effect as from today:

Asle Solheim will be the managing director. Mr. Solheim will combine this with his current position at CEO of Bergen Group ASA,

Anders Straumsheim will be in charge of marketing and sales activity. Mr. Straumsheim will combine this with his current position as CEO of Bergen Group Fosen,

Yuriy Dovgiy will be the Deputy CEO for NorYards AS. Mr. Dovgiy will combine this with his current position as Sales and Marketing director of Zaliv Shipyard. Among other functions, he will also take care of the marketing and sales together with Anders Straumsheim.

"The joint venture now being established gives the new company NorYards AS a substantial strengthening of the company's position throughout the value chain - from basic design, detailed design, engineering package to hull construction and final completion of the vessels. NorYards AS has a great foundation for future growth in the international market for the construction of different offshore vessels and specialized vessels", says Asle Solheim.

NorYards AS held its first general meeting this week, electing a board of directors consisting of three representatives from each party. Mr. Sutharshan Tharmaratnam is appointed Chairman of the Board. He is CFO of Brian Chang Holdings Limited, which is representing the largest current shareholder of Bergen Group. The Group's two other board representatives in NorYards are Mr. Magnus Stangeland and Mr. Oddvar Stangeland.

Calexco is represented on the Board by Mr. Mykola Kuzmenko who is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zaliv Shipyard, as well as by Mr. Yuri Rioneli and Mr. James Henry Merrick.

NorYards AS will have around 400 employees in Norway based on the current permanent staff at Fosen and BMV. The company will already on the completion date start with a high outfitting activity under the service agreements with Bergen Group related to the completion of the Bergen Group's existing shipbuilding contracts.

NorYards AS has already, subject to the completion, secured a hull construction financing facility of up to $40 million in financing of hulls for new projects. In addition, the two shareholders, Bergen Group and Calexco, will contribute NOK 50 million in equity to NorYards AS, providing the company with working capital to ensure a solid capital base for further expansion.

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