July 22 - Beluga Shipping has taken onboard a strong partner, the American investment company Oaktree Capital Management LP (OCM) which will invest and provide financing for the project and heavy lift shipping company's strategic growth.

Managing director of the OCM branch office in Frankfurt, Hermann T. Dambach said: "Oaktree has substantial investment experience within the shipping sector. We see Beluga Shipping as an innovative, strong and successful company with enormous growth potential in its core business as well as in the emerging offshore business segment. Furthermore, we are convinced that Beluga will be well placed within the market to take advantage of additional opportunities as these arise. Our partnership will enable Beluga to strategically and profitably extend its market leadership."

Niels Stolberg, founder and sole managing partner of Beluga Shipping is equally positive about the new partnership: "In Oaktree Capital Management we have found a competent partner who understands our philosophy and business strategy and who will strongly support us in the further growth of Beluga Shipping. I am convinced that the excellent working relationship that we have developed to date will continue and together we will harvest the fruits of our cooperation."

The partnership between Oaktree Capital Management and Beluga Shipping will officially be sealed later on this month and Beluga is expected to order its first new special vessels shortly after. Initially, additional growth is expected in the offshore wind farm sector. Later on, the offshore market is expected to become Beluga's second main pillar alongside the attractive niche market of project and heavy lift cargo shipping: the company's core focus since it was founded in 1995.

For more than 12 months Beluga has been engaged in the development and construction of the P-3 ship series. These special multi-purpose heavy lift project carriers will be fitted with cranes capable of lifting weights of up to 2,000 tonnes in tandem using their onboard 1,000 tonne cranes. The market conditions for these carriers have significantly improved over the last 18 months, says Beluga.

In addition, Beluga is engaged in the construction and development of erector ships for its joint venture with Hochtief Construction AG: BELUGA HOCHTIEF Offshore. These erector ships - a type of jack-up vessel - will be able to load, transport and even install offshore wind energy farms. In addition to these erector ships, Beluga is also planning two cable-laying ships and two supply vessels for the offshore wind farm sector.