Greece Approves Sale of Shipyard to Abu Dhabi MAR Group

(Staff Report)
Filed on March 3, 2010

ABU DHABI - Greece has approved the proposed sale of a majority stake in ThyssenKrupp’s Hellenic Shipyards or HSY, handing control of the eastern Mediterranean’s largest shipyard to Abu Dhabi MAR Group or ADM.

”The German steelmaker decided last year to sell HSY after accusing the Greek government of breaking its contractual obligations and missing payments on a deal to build four submarines for the Greek navy.

“The new joint scheme will be led by ADM which will hold 75.1 per cent of the share capital of Skaramanga shipyard (HSY), with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems participating with 24.9 per cent,” the government said in a statement on Monday.

ThyssenKrupp which fully acquired HSY in 2005, picked Abu Dhabi MAR in January as the preferred bidder for a majority stake in its indebted Greek shipbuilding unit. The deal will add to Abu Dhabi MAR’s existing shipyards in France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. The government did not disclose financial details of the deal but Thyssen has said in the past that the shipyards, which depend on Greek navy orders, would be sold at the price of one euro. ThyssenKrupp received a total five bids for HSY, but found only Abu Dhabi MAR’s to be acceptable.

Greece’s new socialist government, which won an Oct. 4 snap election, has pledged to protect approximately 1,300 jobs at HSY. ThyssenKrupp and Abu Dhabi MAR last year agreed a long-term strategic partnership to build naval ships and large yachts.

With shipyards in France (CMN), Germany (Nobiskrug) and the ADM Shipyards in ABu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi MAR Group has combined engineering and collective experience in all construction materials and is one of a kind in the industry with unrivalled international coverage, says Cyril Le Sourd , the group’s Sales and Marketing Manager, while talking to Khaleej Times at the Second Abu Dhabi Yacht Show, last week. In July last year, Abu Dhabi MAR Group acquired a controlling interest in the German Nobiskrug yard, and in October agreed to establish a long-term partnership with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems , with the group to own an 80-per-cent stake in the Blohm + Voss yard.

According to a Company statement the strategic partnership involves a 50:50 joint venture called Blohm + Voss Naval to design and build naval surface ships frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels. “It also involves Abu Dhabi MAR group owning an 80-per-cent stake in the yacht business and in each of the companies: Blohm + Voss Shipyards, Blohm + Voss Repair and Blohm + Voss Industries, the statement said. The transaction is subject to approval by the supervisory bodies of both groups. On the naval side, it is subject to disclosure requirements under the German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG).

Abu Dhabi MAR Group’s chairman Iskandar Safa is a Lebanese-French entrepreneur. who has owned the French CMN shipyard for nearly 20 years.

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