Croatian Kermas Eyes Arctech Helsinki Shipyard

Croatian investment corporation KERMAS Group intends to buy Arctech Helsinki Shipyard (AHS) in Finland from Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, USC confirmed to World Maritime News.

KERMAS plans to acquire a 55 percent stake from USC, becoming a majority shareholder of the Finnish shipyard, the group told World Maritime News separately.

“Our intention is to make a remarkable investment in AHS by directed share issue which, if realized, will entail the KERMAS Group holding 55 percent of AHS. The amount of investment is currently discussed and cannot be disclosed before closure of the deal,” KERMAS said.

As informed, the share issue will be carried out in 2018 immediately after the parties finalize all corporate approvals.

Arctech, fully owned by USC, specializes in Arctic shipbuilding technology, building icebreakers and offshore vessels. With this acquisition, AHS and Croatian Brodotrogir Shipyard Trogir (HBT), part of KERMAS, “are joining forces to gain a larger market share of the international shipbuilding market.”

“As a natural extension of current joint active cooperation, AHS and HBT have decided to join forces to gain a larger market share of the international shipbuilding market. The primary objective of the cooperation is to be able to better meet the future needs of the growing market for cruisers and multipurpose vessels, such as tanker-icebreakers, floating docks, and chemical tankers,” KERMAS explained.

The group added that the building and co-design cooperation between AHS and HBT started in February 2017. The shipyards are currently jointly building an “innovative” gas-condensate tanker-icebreaker newbuilding.

Only two months ago, KERMAS expressed its interest in joining the ownership structure of another shipyard, Uljanik. The financially-troubled shipyard is to undergo a restructuring process after the European Commission approved the loan provided by the country’s government. The shipyard needs to find a new strategic partner in the following six months. Apart from KERMAS, Italian Palumbo Group is also interested in Uljanik.

The acquisition of both shipyards would bring KERMAS “a big synergy”, Danko Koncar, owner of KERMAS, was cited by Slobodna Dalmacija as saying.

Kermas has investments in renewable energy, real estate, marina development, agriculture and shipbuilding. The corporation entered the shipbuilding business in 2013 when it acquired the Croatian state-owned Brodotrogir shipyard.

World Maritime News Staff

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