The Norwegian Government has suspended the proposed sale of Rolls-Royce subsidiary and engine manufacturer Bergen Engines to Russia’s TMH Group, citing security reasons.

Bergen Engines has supplied more than 7,000 engines to marine and power generation customers worldwide since 1946 and employs approximately 950 people.

Norway’s NSM security agency is assessing the €150m deal and has reportedly revealed that there could be security implications to the country’s navy related to the change in ownership.

In addition, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security put a freeze on all ongoing due diligence related to the sale while the review is underway.

Meanwhile, a Rolls-Royce spokesman said that they had earlier alerted the Norwegian Government before announcing the sale.

Reuters quoted the spokesman as saying: “We understand, however, that the Norwegian Government now wishes to further investigate the deal and Rolls-Royce will co-operate in any way we can with that review. As requested, we have paused the sales process.”

Earlier last month, Rolls-Royce initially announced the planned divesture as part of a disposal plan to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company also planned to temporarily close its civil aircraft jet-engine factories for two weeks later this year to reduce costs stemming from its struggling civil aerospace unit.

In a separate development, Rolls-Royce confirmed that it has been selected to power Vertical Aerospace’s flagship urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft.

The engine manufacturer’s electrical power system will be integrated into the piloted all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

Slated for certification in 2024, the vehicle is designed to carry up to four passengers for 120 miles at speeds exceeding 200mph.