Global investment firm KKR is investing about NOK7.2bn (€688.6m) to buy Ocean Yield, a Norway-based ship owning company with investments in vessels on long-term charters.

Octopus Bidco, a company owned by KKR funds, is offering the Oslo Stock Exchange-listed owner’s shareholders NOK41 for each share.

The amount per share being offered represents a premium of 26% to shares’ last closing price of NOK32.54. Aker Capital, which owns 61.65% stake in Ocean Yield, has undertaken to accept the offer.

Founded in 2012, Ocean Yield currently has 63 vessels.

Vincent Policard, partner and co-head of European infrastructure at KKR, said: “We have been impressed by what Ocean Yield’s management team and employees have achieved since the company was formed a decade ago through the strategy of investments in modern fuel-efficient vessels on long-term charters.

“KKR is excited at the idea of becoming a strategic partner to Ocean Yield’s management team to continue building a leading ship-leasing company to the benefit of all stakeholders, including by providing improved access to long-term capital to meet the substantial investment needs of the sector.”

Øyvind Eriksen, president and CEO of Aker, said: “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. We are happy to see that a renowned investment firm such as KKR recognizes the strength of Ocean Yield and will support the further growth of the company as the new owner.”

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.”

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