DIF Capital and EDF to acquire Norwegian electric ferry operator Fjord1
DIF Capital Partners, through its DIF Infrastructure VII fund, and EDF Invest are set to acquire Fjord1, Norway’s largest electric ferry operator. The companies have finalized a definitive agreement for the acquisition, taking over from previous owners Vision Ridge Partners and Havila Holding.
Fjord1’s Role in Norwegian Ferry Services
As a pivotal player in Norway’s ferry services, Fjord1 operates under long-term concessions with a significant fleet of 81 vessels. This includes a robust lineup of electric ferries, aligning with Norway’s shift towards zero-emission ferry connections. Fjord1 holds a preeminent position in providing essential ferry and express boat services throughout Norway, emphasizing sustainable and efficient transportation solutions.
Fjord1’s Market Position and Electrification Drive
Fjord1 has not only established itself as the top floating bridge operator in Norway but also leads the transition to electric ferries. Under the previous ownership of Vision Ridge and Havila Holding, the company has seen a more than 50% increase in electric vessels, now boasting the highest proportion of electric ferries in Norway. This investment reflects a strategic move towards decarbonization and innovation in ferry transport.
Future Plans and Management’s Outlook Post Acquisition
Following the transaction, expected to complete in early 2024, Fjord1’s CEO Dagfinn Neteland and his team will continue to guide the company. Neteland expressed enthusiasm for the new ownership, aiming to strengthen Fjord1’s market position. DIF partner Gijs Voskuyl and Alexandre Pieyre of EDF Invest both highlighted their commitment to furthering the company’s low-carbon strategies and innovative practices in the ferry industry.
Advisory Roles in the Acquisition
Financial, legal, and technical advisors played crucial roles in this transaction. Vision Ridge and Havila Holding were advised by Rothschild & Co., Ropes & Gray LLP, and Schjødt, while DIF and EDF Invest received guidance from Deutsche Bank, Cantor Fitzgerald, and several other notable firms. This advisory support underscores the complexity and significance of the deal in the sustainable transportation sector.
The acquisition of Fjord1 by DIF Capital Partners and EDF Invest marks a significant milestone in Norway’s ferry industry, particularly in advancing electric ferry operations. As Fjord1 gears up for this new chapter, its journey toward electrification and sustainable maritime transport continues to evolve, setting a benchmark in the global ferry market.