Shipping magnates close $110m fund

Oivind Lorentzen and Jan Naess, who control investment manager and ship agency Northern Navigation, have closed the company’s debut shipping fund. Northern previously invested in six private equity shipping funds totaling $350m through a joint venture with a German bank.

Northern Navigation, a Connecticut-based investment manager and ship agency controlled by shipping magnates Oivind Lorentzen and Jan Naess, has closed a first fund of more than $110 million for investing in the maritime and offshore service sectors.

Northern Shipping Fund I will provide both private equity and mezzanine financing to companies in the shipping sector. The fund will favor asset-based investment structures, such as bareboat charters and time charters, which involve the leasing of a ship or a part of a ship to a shipper of goods.

Shipping: ocean of
opportunity for private
equity investors

Though a first for Northern, the company has previously been involved in six other private equity shipping funds established by NFC Shipping Funds, a joint venture with German transportation bank DVB Bank. Those funds have total equity of $350 million and to date have invested $2 billion in shipping assets.

Besides Lorentzen and Naess, the fund’s other investors include shipping families from the United Kingdom, India, Norway and Greece.

The fund will be headed by Sean Durkin, former CFO of Northern. Sybren Hoekstra, formerly the head of DVB Bank’s New York office and John Hartigan, formerly a senior manager in the credit department of the Bank of Ireland, will join the fund as senior investment advisors. Additionally, Jan Erik Wahl of Northern will serve as the fund’s technical director.

Lorentzen has been president of Northern Navigation America since 1990. He is also the chairman of NFC Shipping Funds.

Officials at Northern did not return repeated calls for comment.