Private equity investor Vaaka Partners has become the majority shareholder of Foreship, the Finnish company specialising in ship design and engineering.
Vaaka Partners’ involvement allows Foreship to draw on an array of financial, business intelligence and industrial advisory expertise from a company portfolio consisting of 4,000 employees and a fund capital base approaching €500 million.
“Foreship has achieved exceptional results in establishing itself as the leading ship design and engineering company in the cruise ship and marine market and beyond. The company’s reputation as a value-adding service provider and attractive employer has also played a key role in our investment decision,” said Ilkka Pentikäinen of Vaaka Partners.
“Foreship has a good global footprint and excellent references from some of the biggest players in the cruise line and newbuilding businesses,” stated Lauri Haavisto, Foreship CEO.
“The new ownership arrangement with Vaaka Partners is therefore an excellent opportunity to maintain Foreship as Foreship, while benefiting from the skills and resources of an established private equity investor. We will be better able to expand our market share globally, serve all our customers more effectively and strengthen our position in the rapidly growing cruise ship refurbishment and upgrade sector. The best way to move forward is to work with people who know how to navigate the international waters of business.”
Foreship’s new board of directors includes chairman of the board Juha Heikinheimo, a highly respected advisor to the cruise shipbuilding and marine IT industries; Jukka Laiterä, one of the founders and former CEO of Deltamarin Group; and Mikael Frisk, former SVP HR at Fortum. Vaaka Partners’ representatives on the board will be Ilkka Pentikäinen and Petrus Blomqvist.
Markus Aarnio, Marcus Höglund and Mattias Jörgensen will retain their positions in Foreship after the transaction, and employee share ownership of Foreship will stay at 40 per cent. There will also be no changes to the company name or contact details, and discussions are already underway for Foreship to add new international locations to the company’s current offices in Finland (4), Estonia and the USA (2).