Bergen to sell a chunk of its shipbuilding business

Bergen FosenJULY 2, 2013 — Norway's Bergen Group looks to be set to sell off a chunk of its shipyard business. It says it "is now in the final phase of clarifying a possible external ownership in the group's shipbuilding division. The final discussions with an international industrial group are considered constructive, and are expected to finalize during this summer. The two parties are working on a basis of a previously signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) that opens up for the new external party to become a major shareholder in the group's shipbuilding division. This division is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Bergen Group ASA, and includes the two newbuilding yards Bergen Group Fosen [pictured left] and Bergen Group BMV."

Bergen Group shareholders have been taking a bath on shipbuilding. In the first quarter the yards turned in a loss of NOK 32 million (EBITDA). Hilariously, someone in Bergen corporate decided to call this "a negative operating profit."

Bergen said in its quarterly report that the division's deficit had been "significantly reduced" compared to the "great losses the division experienced throughout last year," but still called the result as "both unsatisfactory and disappointing " and the Board approved a write-down of the company's goodwill of NOK 137 million.

At that time Bergen said that "talks with an international shipyard group regarding future joint ownership of the shipbuilding division are expected to be clarified during the second quarter."

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