Following weeks of negotiations, the Finnish Government and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft have signed an agreement the purchase of the STX Finland’s Turku shipyard. A share purchase agreement with current owner STX Europe gives Meyer Werft a 70% stake of the new company, with the Finnish Government holding 30%.
The plan is to rename the company from STX Finland Oy to Meyer Turku Shipyard Oy.
“This acquisition will strengthen the yards in Papenburg, Turku and Rostock: With joining forces with Turku we can offer more flexibility to our customers,” explained Dr. Jan Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. “In addition both shipyards respect each other for their high level of professionalism and thus can learn a lot from each other in order to improve their working processes or to join forces on research and development.
We are confident that in this way we can create a good opportunity for the Finnish maritime cluster to thrive and also hope to interest many young people to join us for building the future high-tech ships.”
With the acquisition, Meyer Werft says it has received an order for two new Mein Schiff-class cruise ships from operator TUI Cruises of Hamburg to be built in Turku. Currently, some 1,300 employees and a specialized supplier network are constructing the cruise ship “Mein Schiff 4” for the German operator. The Mein Schiff 4 was previously the only ship in the STX Finland’s order book.
The acquisition is still subject to clearance by the antitrust authorities and banks.
STX Finland, which specializes in cruise ships, was hit particularly hard in recent years by a dip in the global economy and lack or new ship orders, forcing the company to explore a restructuring which saw the closure of its Rauma Shipyard announced in September.
In 2012, STX Finland missed out on a billion dollar contract for the third Oasis-class cruise ship from Royal Caribbean reportedly because financial support from the Finnish government had fallen through. The contract was instead given to rival STX France, marking a departure from STX Finland where the first two Oasis-class ships, the largest cruise ships in the world, were built. In May of this year, Royal Caribbean placed an order for a fourth Oasis-class ship to also be built at STX France.
Based in Papenburg, Germany, Meyer Werft is a seventh generation family-owned shipyard with roots dating back founded in 1795. Right now the group is especially well-known for its construction of large, modern cruise ships and to date has built 37 luxury liners for a wide-range of international customers.