BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vision Ridge Partners, an alternative asset manager focused on sustainable real assets, and Havila Holding announced today that they have completed the privatization of Fjord1, the owner and operator of a fleet of Norwegian ferries utilizing low or zero emission propulsion. Going forward, Fjord1 will be jointly owned by Vision Ridge Partners and Havila Holding, an investment company owned by the Sævik family in Norway, with each party holding 50% ownership stakes.
Allianz Global Investors partially financed the acquisition and refinancing of the existing debt by providing approximately NOK 3 billion financing at the holding company level. This bespoke financing platform resulted in a meaningful interest rate reduction to the cost of the previous public bond.
Vision Ridge made its initial investment in Fjord1 in 2019. At that time, Fjord1's existing operational footprint included just a single electric ferry route. In just three years, the firm has become an industry leader in the Norwegian ferry electrification industry, having transitioned 50% of its operating fleet to electric, expanded to 38 routes and completed the largest and most complex newbuild program in its history, culminating in the delivery of 32 electric vessels. As of June 30, 2021, over 70% of the new electric vessels were operating in the water, and by the end of 2021, all 32 are expected to be live and providing transport throughout Norway.
“We are proud of our partnership with Fjord1 and the Sævik family,” said Reuben Munger, Managing Partner of Vision Ridge Partners. “Collectively, we saw an opportunity for the firm to become an industry leader in ‘green’ maritime as Norway forges ahead with its goal of zero emissions in its fjord regions by 2026. The sheer size and complexity of this transaction required a creative financing structure, and we are thrilled to empower future growth and additional fleet transformation at Fjord1.”
Fjord1 is the largest player in Norway’s ferry network, a critical component of the country’s infrastructure, serving approximately 50% of all passengers. The firm leads the sector in profitability, fleet size and sustainable technology.
“The privatization of Fjord1 is a significant milestone for the firm and will ensure that it can continue to grow its leadership position and further increase its sustainability impact in the years to come,” said Vegard Sævik, Chairman of Fjord1. “By partnering with Vision Ridge, we have been able to access their extensive experience at the nexus of new mobility and electrification and position Fjord1 to be at the forefront of the transition to sustainable transportation.”
“We are delighted to have worked with Vision Ridge Partners and Havila Holding to support the rationalization of Fjord1’s ownership structure, and look forward to supporting Fjord1’s position as a key provider of critical Norwegian coastal infrastructure,” commented Jemima Atkins, who led the execution of the investment for Allianz Global Investors’ Infrastructure Debt platform.
About Vision Ridge Partners
Vision Ridge Partners aims to deliver superior financial returns and positive environmental impact through investments in sustainable real assets. Founded by Reuben Munger and joined by partners Justin Goerke and George Polk, Vision Ridge manages approximately $2.5 billion, as of June 30, 2021, across its three funds and associated co-investments. Vision Ridge has offices in Colorado and New York. For more information visit https://vision-ridge.com.
About Havila Holding
Havila Holding is a family-owned investment company that is parent to a number of subsidiaries operating in various business sectors. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Fosnavag, Norway, the company is co-owned by Per Sævik and his children Njål Sævik, Hege Sævik Rabben and Vegard Sævik, who together serve as the company’s board of directors. Havila Holding’s mission is to manage what has been created over generations, refine and create new value, establish rewarding jobs and build communities. https://en.havila.no/
Fjord1 is the largest ferry company in Norway, offering ferry and passenger boat services to over 16 million passengers annually. Through its growing fleet of innovative and technically-advanced vessels, Fjord1 aims to be the most reliable and attractive supplier of environmentally-friendly ferry and passenger boat services for its customers and partners. The company invests in low-emission and zero-emission technologies, and is driving the electrification of the ferry industry in Norway. https://www.fjord1.no
About Allianz Global Investors
Allianz Global Investors is a leading active asset manager, managing EUR 633 billion in assets for individuals, families and institutions worldwide. By being active and investing for the long term, our goal is to elevate the investment experience for our clients and generate value every step of the way. The Infrastructure Debt platform has invested over EUR 19 billion since 2013 in infrastructure companies across Europe, the United States and Latin America. The platform sources high quality infrastructure debt investments for institutional investors, offering improved access to a diversity of sectors that would otherwise not be available to public investors. https://www.allianzgi.com/