NETHERLANDS - The €3bn pension fund for the Dutch merchant navy has said it will take a stake in pensions provider MN Services.

According to Cecile Willems, spokeswoman for MN Services, the scheme will acquire "a significant minority stake", but she declined to provide further details.

Maarten Zier, chairman of the scheme, said: "A minority stake by the Stichting Bedrijfspensioenfonds Koopvaardij in MN Services is not only considered as a sound long-term investment, but also as a strengthening of the mutual bond."

In 2008, the pension fund selected MN Services as its asset manager.

Subsequently, it also decided to place its pension administration with the provider at the start of 2010.

Willems said: "The scheme for the merchant navy has deliberately picked MN Services because of our role in society - we are very pleased with this clear signal to the market."

The Bedrijfspensioenfonds Koopvaardij will become the third stakeholder in MN Services, along with the metal schemes Metaal en Techniek (PMT) and Metalektro (PME).

However, Willems said PMT - founder of MN Services - would keep a large majority stake in the provider.

MN Services declined to indicate which stake PMT and PME had given up.

The scheme for the merchant navy has more than 55,000 participants, deferred members and pensioners and offers services to more than 200 affiliated companies.

Its cover ratio was 114.3% at the end of March.