If the deal goes through, STX Finland will only retain its ownership of the shipyard in Turku
The Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) will take full ownership of the Helsinki shipyard. The news broke when the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that the state-owned USC, which already owns a 50 per cent share of the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, is buying out STX Finland.
USC’s head of communications later confirmed the deal to the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle and the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat but was yet unwilling to comment on the timetable or the purchase price. STX Finland did comment the news to Yle.
The acquisition of the Helsinki shipyard by USC does not come as a total surprise as STX Finland’s Korean parent company is also selling some of its other European operations. Provided the sale translates into new orders from Russia, it will be good news to the shipyard, which has been making a loss, resulting in heavy debts for the company.
”The deal going through would not be a surprise, but a logical next step,” commented Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori (Nat. Coalition Party) on Twitter.
Last week, the Helsinki shipyard suffered from funding problems, causing wages to be paid a couple of days late. This was a temporary and exceptional situation brought on by a debt security –related issue, according to a press release by the company, whose main funder is the Russian Alfa Bank.
“STX will not be sorely missed”
The news on the planned acquisition by the Russian company did not spark concerns among the Helsinki shipyard employees. The shipyard’s chief shop steward, Ilpo Haaja, said that the sale did not come out of the blue, adding that the employees had no reason to see the company changing hands as a threat.
”We certainly aren’t alarmed by the news. The company name on the back of my overalls has changed a number of times even during my career. The main thing is that the employees will have jobs to go to.”
SALLA SALMELA – STT
NIINA WOOLLEY – HT
LEHTIKUVA / RONI REKOMAA / RONI LEHTI
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