Family-owned Norwegian company Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab (DSD) is sell its ferry and express boat company Norled to a private equity consortium.
Norled has been a green ferry pioneer. It owns the world’s first battery powered car and passenger ferry Ampere, which entered service in 2015, and is currently building a hydrogen powered ferry set to enter operation in 2021.
Now it is being acquired by a consortium in which Helsinki, Finland, based infrastructure fund CapMan Infra and Canadian company CBRE Caledon Capital Management each have a 50% stake.
None of the parties has disclosed the value of the deal.
However, Norled Chairman Ingvald Løyning says that the company “currently has an order backlog of NOK 17 billion (US$1.93 billion) and has decided to build new vessels for NOK 2.4 billion (about US$ 273 million.”
He says that growing and succeeding with so much technology and development is “demanding for a family owned business.” Now, he says, the company needs to be given the necessary financial resources o grow and develop further.
“The Norwegian ferry industry is a critical part of the country’s transportation infrastructure,” says Ville Poukka, Managing Partner at CapMan Infra. “We believe that the green shift in the industry further highlights sea transportation as a sustainable solution, supporting both the connectivity within and between regions for daily commuters and leisure travelers, while creating jobs and economic growth. CBRE Caledon has proven to be a great partner to CapMan in this investment given their experience in the ferry sector, competent team and deep understanding in infrastructure investing. We are impressed with Norled’s management and employees and are looking forward to continuing the successful journey together to further improve operations for the benefit of the company’s customers, employees and communities.
“Norled represents an attractive investment opportunity given the availability-based, index-linked nature of cash flows, the company’s market-leading position, and the increasingly green credentials of the Norwegian ferry industry,” says Dr Andreas Köttering, Partner at CBRE Caledon. “Furthermore, we have been very pleased with the collaboration with CapMan. Their local insight and Nordic experience combined with our experience in the ferries sector well positions our consortium to continue developing Norled.”
CBRE Caledon is a member of a consortium that bought U.K. ferry operator Red Funnel in 2017.