Meyer Werft Buying Finland Out of Turku Shipyard

Mein Schiff 4. Photo credit Meyer Turku
Mein Schiff 4. Photo credit Meyer Turku

Family-owned Meyer Werft Shipyard is buying the Finnish Government out of its minority stake in the Turku Shipyard, now known as Meyer Turku Shipyard Oy.

The Papenburg, Germany-based shipyard and the Finnish State acquired the Turku Shipyard, then part of STX Finland, from parent company STX Europe in September 2014, with Meyer Werft taking up 70 percent of the shares and the State of Finland purchasing 30 percent through the Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII).

The deal included a call option that allowed Meyer Werft to buy the remaining shares in the shipyard from Finland.

“At the time of the purchase Meyer was only operating shipyards in Germany and therefore going to invest in Finland was a big and strategic step for us – which we carefully considered from different angles. Our well-coordinated acquisition with the Finnish Government made it possible for us to implement this strategic move, and I am sincerely grateful for the government for its valuable contribution. In general, I hope that our decision to buy all the shares is received as a sign of confidence that we can make Turku shipyard a long term shipbuilding success”, says Jan Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of Meyer Turku.

Since the acquisition, Meyer Werft has helped the shipyard complete the delivery of the Mein Schiff 3 cruise ship to TUI Cruises, which will be followed by Mein Schiff 4 in 2015. The acquisition also helped the shipyard clinch an order for two new Mein Schiff-class cruise ships from TUI Cruises with delivery expected in 2016 and 2017.

“We are happy to see that the Turku shipyard is developing so positively. Our engagement was an investment in Finnish strengths – the shipyard and the strong maritime cluster. It is good to see that Meyer is sharing our confidence and further invests in the Turku shipyard. This benefits not only the yard but also the maritime cluster and Finland at large”, says Jan Vapaavuori, the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs.

“Meyer has had a great start in Finland bringing a lot of new orders to Turku. I want to congratulate Meyer and the whole shipyard for a fine start in Finland”, concludes Minister Vapaavuori.

The change in the ownership structure is expected to become effective within the next weeks.

STX Finland, which included the Turku and Rauma shipyards, was hit particularly hard in recent years by a dip in the global economy and lack or new ship orders, which forced the company to explore a restructuring and saw the closure of its Rauma Shipyard announced in September 2013.

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 fell through. The contract was instead given to rival STX France, marking a departure from STX Finland where the first two Oasis ships were built. In May 2014, 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 39 luxury liners – most recently the Anthem of the Seas – for a wide-range of international customers.