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Fraser Shipyards in Superior has new owners

The new ownership plans to expand Fraser's capabilities.

File: Fraser Shipyards
Fraser Shipyards in Superior has been acquired by Infrastructure Acquisition Partners LLC. (Clint Austin / 2019 file / News Tribune)
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Fraser Industries, the Superior-based 60-acre shipyard, has new owners based outside the Twin Ports.

Cleaves Invest, out of Norway, and Chicago-based Foundry Mountain Infrastructure Partners announced their acquisition in a news release Friday. The joint venture is known as Infrastructure Acquisition Partners.

Patrick Kelly, of Foundry Mountain Infrastructure Partners, is the incoming CEO of the 133-year-old shipyard.

"We look forward to continuing the expansion of capabilities at Fraser in ship repair, boat building and related maritime infrastructure as we prepare for the innovation of new markets, including the emerging offshore wind industry," Kelly said.

Foundry Mountain Infrastructure Partners is an infrastructure firm that partners with teams to help them grow and optimize their business.

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Fraser has been under the Duluth-based Capstan Corp. since 1977. The shipyard can service the largest ships on the Great Lakes, working to keep them in top condition.
Fraser includes custom-boat-building Lake Assault Boats as well as Northern Engineering Co., which was founded in 1916 and offers maintenance and repair for maritime and other industrial organizations.

“We are excited to pass on ownership to a well-qualified group who will take Fraser Industries to the next level as we live in a more interconnected and global maritime environment," outgoing CEO Todd Johnson said in the release.

The founder of Cleaves, Olav Karlsen, said the new owners look forward to being a part of the Twin Ports "for many years to come."

“This is a great union combining the expertise of Fraser Industries with our relationships in the global maritime industry for the expansion of Fraser and success with developing opportunities," Karlsen said.

Cleaves Invest is a privately owned ship broking and financial services group that focuses on shipping, infrastructure, energy and financial services.

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