Dutch investment company DIF Capital Partners and EDF Invest, the investment arm of French energy firm EDF, will acquire Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 from Vision Ridge Partners and Norway’s Havila Holding.
As Norway’s largest ferry operator, Fjord1 has a fleet of 81 vessels and serves roughly half of the country’s passengers with critical services between the mainland and islands for commuting, leisure, tourism and goods transportation.
Gijs Voskuyl, partner at DIF, said: “We’re very excited to invest in Fjord1, which is operating under a concession-based model and which is a leader in delivering environmentally friendly and reliable ferry transportation in Norway.”
Head of EDF Invest Alexandre Pieyre echoed a similar sentiment, saying: “We look forward to supporting the company and its employees to pursue this low-carbon strategy and to bring even more innovation to the transportation industry.”
The purchase of Fjord1 is expected to close early next year, with DIF and EDF Invest saying the company will continue to be led by CEO Dagfinn Neteland, who described the sale as a “long and thorough process”.
Under Vision Ridge, which has been an investor in Fjord1 since 2019 and Havila Holding, an investor since 2011, the ferry operator has pushed forward the electrification of its fleet. 60% of its ferries run on electricity, compromising approximately half of all the electric ferries in Norway.
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The two investors also completed the privatisation of the ferry operator in 2021 with Vision Ridge saying that the process would help the company become an industry leader in “green maritime” and keep up with Norway’s plans to have zero emissions in its fjord regions by 2026.
“Having been part of a transitional period for Fjord1, where the company has been at the forefront of implementing electric ferries, we are happy to have found a new owner for Fjord1 who can help develop the company further,” said Vegard Sævik, chairman of Fjord1 and of the board of directors at Havila Holding.
Ownership of the ferry operator isn’t the only presence DIF has in the maritime industry, as it purchased a minority stake in Boluda CM’s container terminal in April 2022.