Kleven gets a reprieve

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Troubled Norwegian shipbuilder, Kleven has been acquired by fellow Norwegian ship repairer and recycler Green Yard after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

In a statement issued, Kleven which is in receivership announced that Green Yard Group will take over further operations at Kleven Verft by agreement with the receiver and the banks involved.

Green Yard Group has plans to continue the shipyard business, but at the same time expand into new business areas that can provide a stable supply of work in addition to shipbuilding and maintenance. Green Yard is Norway’s leading player in ship recycling but wants to continue building ships at Kleven in addition to its other business areas. This will make Green Yard Group one of the most complete shipyard groupings in Norway.

Bjørn Åge Hamre, partner in Simonsen Vogt Wiig, the court appointed receiver who has led the negotiations together with a team from Kleven said “We would not have been able to do this without all the employees at Kleven, the banks, creditors, contracting parties and suppliers who have shown patience and given the estate peace of mind to work out solutions”.

Kleven was hit hard by the downturn in offshore ship construction following the 2015 drop in crude oil price but looked to have been saved with the order by Norwegian ferry and cruise operator of a series of expeditionary cruise vessels. Hurtigruten was eventually to step in and acquire the firm after Kleven ran into further difficulties in order to secure completion of its vessels.

In January this year, Kleven was taken over by Croatia’s DIV Group and secured orders for new vessels but in June three Norwegian banks terminated loan deals with Kleven, forcing the company to subsequently file for bankruptcy.

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