Lorentzens Skibs is continuing its policy of focusing on projects rather than market segments by buying a stake in its first car carrier.

The Oslo-based company has purchased a share of a German-controlled vessel through a limited partnership company set up by Fearnley Finans.

Shipowner Nicolai E Lorentzen, a major shareholder in Lorentzens Skibs, confirmed the company bought into the 4,870-ceu Gral San Martin (built 2009), which trades in the fleet of NSC Schifffahrtsgesellschaft.

An NSC executive says the German shipmanager retains a more than 50% stake in the ship, with Lorentzen Skibs holding less than 10%, and is in the driving seat of the limited partnership.

The price tag of the deal has not been disclosed.

Mixed fleet

Lorentzens Skib currently boasts a fleet of 17 ships, owned by different limited partnership companies. The family-owned company has four containerships, four heavylift vessels, two tankers, three bulkers, two sideport ships and two reefers.

The ships are normally fixed out on long-term time charters and bareboat charters.

The company, which has roots dating back to 1826, also has a 10% stake in Copehagen-based LPG owner B-Gas.

The holding company, Jamlo, last year logged a pre-tax profit of NOK 42m ($4.9m), up from NOK 33m in 2017. The profits on its investments are only being logged when a vessel is sold.

Bulker divestment

Last year, Jamlo concluded a profitable sale of the 57,000-dwt bulker Nordic Stade (built 2011). The ship had been purchased by a company set up by finance house NRP, reportedly for just $7.5m, in 2016.

The sale involved restructuring ownership of the bulker so that some investors are still taking part, while others have cashed in, TradeWinds is told.

Jamlo had a book equity of NOK 338m at the end of 2018. Jamlo has investments outside shipping, including tourism and management services.

The company is owned by Lorentzen, his brother and sister.

This story has been amended since publication to reflect that the Lorentzen Skibs holds a minority stake in the Gral San Martin, with NSC owning the majority.