Meyer Werft, a German shipbuilding behemoth, and the Finnish Government have reached an agreement with South Korea's STX over the acquisition of the ailing STX Turku Shipyard, Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Minister of Economic Affairs, announced on Monday afternoon.
Under the agreement, Meyer Werft will take over a 70 per cent stake in the shipyard – to be named Meyer Turku Shipyard – and the Government a 30 per cent stake through Finnish Industry Investment.
The agreement has already enabled the shipyard to secure an order for two new cruise ships from Germany's TUI Cruises. Valued at nearly one billion euros, the order is estimated to create roughly 12,000 jobs at the shipyard until the scheduled delivery of the vessels in 2016 and 2017.
Vapaavuori on Monday also announced that the Finnish Government is set take part in promoting the development of the shipyard by granting a total of ten million euros in innovation aid for the shipbuilding effort.
Jan Meyer, the managing director at Meyer Werft, revealed that the German shipbuilding company plans to step up the funding of the Turku-based shipyard, estimating that the takeover will also enhance flexibility and expertise in Turku.
The management of the shipyard, he added, will be re-evaluated thoroughly. “However, our intention is not to arrive in Turku with 50 Germans and to overhaul the entire management,” he assured.
In addition, Meyer assured that the takeover will result in no redundancies. Both Meyer Werft and the Finnish Government also said that they will re-capitalise the new shipyard but refrained from divulging the size of the injections.
According to Vapaavuori, Meyer Turku Shipyard is a temporary investment for the Finnish Government. “We haven't agreed on a divestment schedule, but the Government is set to divest in a few years' time.”
Meyer Werft will thus become the sole owner of the shipyard.
Tuomo Pietiläinen, Heikki Arola – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
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Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva