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Investors take stake in Gulfport shipyard

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) -- A private equity firm is taking an ownership stake in a Mississippi shipyard group.

Littlejohn & Co. of Greenwich, Conn., has bought part of Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, which owns the Trinity Yachts and TY Offshore shipyards in Gulfport and New Orleans.

The dollar amount and ownership share were not disclosed.

John Dane III, CEO of the shipyard group, says the company plans $9 million of improvements at its Gulfport yard, which will allow it to build more ships each year. A building will be expanded, its launching system will be upgraded, and a new crane will be installed.

Dane says Trinity has about 700 employees and is currently trying to hire another 100.

Trinity Yachts builds large private yachts, while TY Offshore builds offshore supply vessels and tank barges.