French shiprepair yard Arno Dunkerque. Photo: Damen Shipyards Group

French ship repair yard Arno Dunkerque. Photo: Damen Shipyards Group

Damen Shipyards Group announced Wednesday that it is has acquired the French ship repair yard Arno Dunkerque, the sole operator for ship repair and conversion in the 3rd largest French port, Dunkirk.

Damen says it will keep the yard’s current personnel and management team to ensure a seamless transition of the yard into the Damen Shipyards Group.

“We are extremely happy that a deal was achieved with Damen Shipyards Group, a company providing a worldwide network and a strong expertise in this industry, which will reinforce the position of ship repair activities in the Port of Dunkirk and will give it international coverage,” Christine Cabau Woehrel, CEO of Dunkirk Port Authority, said. “A comprehensive and continuous dialogue between the different parties involved all along the process of the takeover has led to a very positive issue ensuring employment guarantee, together with strong prospects for a growing economic activity in the Dunkirk port area and the Nord Pas de Calais Region. We are all very satisfied of this positive outcome.”

René Berkvens, CEO Damen Shipyards, commented: “Arno brings added value to Damen as it is a modern shipyard with about 160 highly skilled workers. The presence of a significant industrial environment, consisting of nearby specialist subcontractors, is another reason. I would like to thank the port authorities and other stakeholders for their cooperative approach. The process leading up to today’s official signing ceremony was one in which the relevant parties showed mutual understanding of each other’s interests.”

Damen says the acquisition fits perfectly within its long-term strategy of expanding its repair and conversion services and that the acquisition is similar to that of Damen Shiprepair Brest, formerly known as Sobrena.

Damen Shipyards Group currently consists of more than 45 shipyards, repair & conversion yards and related companies.

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