Ocean Yield to buy CVC DIF’s stake in France LNG Shipping

Infrastructure fund CVC DIF has agreed to sell a stake in LNG carrier owner France LNG Shipping to KKR-backed Ocean Yield.

France LNG Shipping (FLS) is a 50/50 joint venture between Japan’s NYK and France’s Geogas LNG, a firm jointly owned by CVC DIF, Access Capital Partners, and Geogas Maritime.

According to a statement by CVC DIF, the company will sell a 29 percent economic interest in FLS, held through its CIF I and CIF II funds, to Norway’s Ocean Yield.

CVC DIF did not reveal the price tag of the deal.

In November 2019, the CIF I fund closed an investment to finance an initial batch of five newbuild LNG vessels through FLS.

In 2021 and 2022, the CIF II fund also invested in FLS to finance the acquisition of Gazocean, a French ship management company which has operated LNG vessels for more than 60 years, and the addition of three more vessels, it said.

Closing of the transaction is subject to conditions and is expected to take place in the second half of 2024, CVC DIF said.

Ocean Yield enters LNG shipping

Ocean Yield said in a separate statement it had agreed to purchase infrastructure fund CVC DIF’s share in Geogas LNG, providing an indirect economic interest of up to 34 percent in France LNG Shipping.

This marks the company’s first transaction in the LNG segment.

Ocean Yield also did not reveal financial details of the deal.

Back in 2021, the Oslo-listed firm also took a stake in one LNG-powered containership.

Ocean Yield’s fleet consisted of 64 vessels at the end of the first quarter this year, including wholly and partly owned vessels and also vessels under construction, its quarterly result shows.

The company said six FLS LNG carriers are currently on the water with an average age of three years, with further two being delivered in 2024 and 2025.

Four additional newbuilds are expected to be novated to FLS at or around closing of the transaction and will be delivered in 2027, Ocean Yield said.

All vessels are employed on long-term charters to “tier-one investment grade-rated European energy companies”, with an average contract duration of 10 years, or 14 years including extension options, it said.

Based on an indirect economic interest of 34 percent, the transaction will add about $840 million to Ocean Yield’s Ebitda backlog, it said.

FLS LNG carriers

The 174,000-cbm LNG carriers owned by FLS include the 2020-built, Elisa Larus, and the 2022-built, Elisa Aquila, both chartered by units of French state-owned utility EDF.

EDF will also take on charter two LNG newbuilds scheduled for delivery in 2025.

On the other hand, French energy giant TotalEnergies took on charter four 2021-built vessels and these include LNG Adventure, LNG Endeavour, LNG Endurance, and LNG Enterprise.

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