Heavy lift in high seas

Two years ago private equity funds eyed interesting investment opportunities in specialised heavy lift carriers. But this did not turn out to be a highly lucrative business. Far from it.

Owners and operators of custom-designed ships that can handle large and heavy structures – from elements for containerterminals, parts of factories, to offshore windmills – and can transport these structures around the world, looked like suitable acquisition objects for equity funds and other shipping investors a few years ago. But development during this last year among the small community of global heavy lift companies does not confirm that the industry, in spite of two significant mergers, constitute a lucrative investment right now or in the short term.

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