Carsten Mortensen prepares to launch new shipping fund

Dee4 Capital Partners, spearheaded by former Norden and BW Group CEO Carsten Mortensen, is in the process of raising capital for a new shipping fund, ShippingWatch has learned.
Photo: Mathias Svold
Photo: Mathias Svold

Three years after Carsten Mortensen launched a USD 72m shipping fund backed by a number of prominent investors, the former chief executive of Norden and BW Group is once again looking for capital and investors for another fund, learns ShippingWatch.

Danish private equity firm J. Lauritzen, which was among the investors in Mortensen’s first fund, Dee4 Capital Fund 1, has already announced that it will put up capital for the new fund as well.

”From the beginning, we were part of the Dee4 Fund I, which has done very well, and we will therefore be part of Fund II with a large investment,” writes J. Lauritzen CEO Kristian Mørch in an email to ShippingWatch.

J. Lauritzen, which has net capital of USD 400m, fully owns Lauritzen Bulkers and 25 percent of BW Epic Kosan.

Furthermore, the private equity firm, which is fully owned by the Lauritzen Foundation, has also invested an unspecified million-dollar figure in Dee4 Capital Fund I and another Danish fund, Navigare Capital’s fund 2.

Mortensen himself, who is founding partner of management company Dee4 Capital Partners, says to ShippingWatch:

”It’s nice to have support from pleased fund 1 investors. Dee4 is ambitious, but we have no comments on the ongoing raising of private capital.”

Mortensen’s Dee4 Capital Partners manages Dee4 Capital Fund I, which was established in 2019 by 20 investors with a capital commitment of USD 72m, and which has invested in a fleet of five MR tanker vessels.

Ecco family on board

Mortensen’s firm also makes investments through two other co-investor groups, E4C, alongside the Ecco family office and Gunvor Group, and H4, alongside Helikon.

Dee4 Capital has invested in 14 tankers since 2019, all of which are now chartered.

The ship purchases are typically financed through 50 percent capital and 50 percent bank loans. Mortensen has previously told Shipping Watch that fund 1 will “generate returns of at least 20 percent annually over its lifetime.”

However, in August last year, four tankers were sold off from the fund.

New Newco firm founded alongside Reefer RoRo AG

The company register states that Dee4Invest and Reefer RoRo AG have founded a new firm, Newco January 2022.

Newco (new company) is generally used as a placeholder name before a business name is agreed upon.

Mortensen doesn’t want to comment on whether the firm itself is a placeholder for the upcoming second fund, or is related to other investments.

He also does not wish to comment on whether the second fund will invest in tankers, which have been a red hot commodity this year.

The CEO is also tight-lipped on how big of a capital commitment he expects from Fund II investors, and when the first close will be.

English edit: Kristoffer Grønbæk & Catherine Brett

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