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US investment firm KKR to buy Ocean Yield for $830m

US investment company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has offered to acquire Norwegian shipowner Ocean Yield for NOK7.2bn ($829.8m). The offer of NOK41 is for around 175.3m Ocean Yield outstanding shares.

Kjell Inge Røkke’s Aker Capital, the majority shareholder of Ocean Yield with 61.65%, has committed to accept the offer. Aker Capital holds some 108m shares in the company.

Øyvind Eriksen, president and CEO of Aker, commented: “Aker has been the driving force behind the development of Ocean Yield since it established the company in 2012. The company has since 2012 grown its fleet significantly from 3 to 63 vessels and is today positioned as a leading maritime leasing company with a strong backlog towards solid counterparties and a highly competent management team. As an industrial investment company, Aker is constantly reviewing strategic options related to its investments and has now decided that it is time to let a new owner continue the growth journey.”

The sale will result in a cash release of approximately NOK4.4bn to Aker, which will be used to invest in current and new business opportunities.

Aker Capital has further entered into an agreement with KKR subsidiary Octopus Bidco for the sale of its 50% ownership interest in a joint venture with Ocean Yield holding four LR2 product tankers with long-term charters to the Navig8 Group.

Lars Solbakken, CEO of Ocean Yield, said: “By leveraging KKR’s capital, expertise and network, Ocean Yield will be well positioned to develop the business with the intention to build a substantially larger company. The team is excited for the next phase of developing Ocean Yield.”

Solbakken has through his wholly-owned company Finmarine committed to accept the offer for his 1.75m shares in Ocean Yield.

According to VesselsValue, Ocean Yield today has a fleet of 52 vessels including 24 tankers, 10 bulk carriers, five vehicle carriers, four containerships and four offshore support vessels.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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