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Stamford Drilling and Foresight Group snap up Cecon shares

ANGLO-Indian investors of Stamford Drilling and the Foresight Group have become the second largest shareholders in Norwegain shipowner Cecon after acquiring three share parcels.Cecon operates a fleet of subsea construction support vessels that operate in the global oil and gas industry. It charters vessels to cover its subsea project requirements and invests in new ships. It has three vessels under construction in Davie Shipyard in Canada, which are due to be delivered in 2010. On Wednesday, Stamford Drilling, which Norwegian analysts said was part of the Foresight Group, acquired 7m shares to boost its shareholding to almost 21%. The Foresight Group started its investment drive on June 12 by agreeing to acquire 10% of Cecon shares. Cecon chief executive Terje Tellefsen said the link with Foresight brought experience in the Indian offshore oil and gas market. The Foresight Group is managed by chairman Ravi Mehrotra and invests in shipping and energy sectors. The largest shareholding in Oslo-listed Cecon is by the Hagenaes shipping investors, which have a 24% stake, said Norwegian analysts. Cecon expects the first of its newbuilding vessels to be delivered in January 2010. The second is due in May next year and the third in July. Analysts said Cecon would still need to raise $50m-$60m to meet the yard delivery payments.

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