US turnaround specialist Oaktree Capital Management has made a splash in the shipping industry with investments worth $380m in two companies, according to the Financial Times.
The Los Angeles-headquartered firm has paid $100m for a majority stake in Gulmar, a Dubai operator of diving support vessels, and €200m in German heavy-lift ship operator Beluga Shipping.
Both companies had been in need of cash to pay for new vessels, an issue facing many companies in the shipping industry as a result of the need to finance ship orders placed before the financial crisis.
Oaktree has some experience of the sector, having backed US dry bulk cargo vessel specialist Genco Shipping & Trading, which went public in 2005.
Gulmar operates four diving support vessels for the maintenance of offshore oil and gas rigs, and has ordered two more ships, costing $150m each and due to be delivered from South Korea soon.
Beluga, which operates about 70 vessels that work on offshore oil and gas plants, wind farms, port construction and power plant modernisation, has ordered six new vessels.
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