British private equity firm TDR Capital, which acquired Norway’s Coastal Express operation Hurtigruten during the autumn of 2014, is reported to be talking to three potential buyers after receiving unsolicited offers.

Hurtigruten was valued at US$884 million when TDR took a 90 per cent interest, while two existing shareholders each retained a five per cent stake. Since then TDR has provided funds to acquire and refit new vessel Spitsbergen, and upgraded four existing ships from the Norwegian coastal service.

TDR has also ordered two newbuildings for delivery in 2018 and 2019, with options for two more, all developed by Rolls-Royce with the assistance of ship designer Espen Oino, and to be built in Norway by the Kleven yard at Ulstenvik.

Earlier, TDR partner Jon Roen said Hurtigruten was profitable when acquired and had been made more so following changes to capacity management and onboard spending by passengers. A Coastal Express vessel leaves Bergen every afternoon, with a daily lunchtime return departure from Kirkenes and with more than 30 calls made in either direction.

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