Russian Group Buys German And Ukraine Shipyards
Russian investment group FLC West has bought stakes in two major German shipbuilding yards and a Ukrainian shipyard, the Norwegian vendor, Aker Yards ASA, said Tuesday. Kremlin-controlled FLC West is expected to gain a voice in management at the two German Aker yards on the Baltic coast, at Wismar and in the Rostock suburb of Warnemuende, and at the Nikolaev yard on the Black Sea coast.

Aker said it had sold 70 per cent of the yards to FLC West for 291.9 million euros (450 million dollars).

It predicted that the new joint venture would concentrate on building modern vessels to meet growing demand from Russian oil and gas drilling and transport companies for specialized ships.

The Baltic Coast yards, which are key employers in a region of Germany where industry has largely vanished, have been modernized, but have struggled to ride out slack periods in orders.

FLC West would obtain 70-per-cent ownership in a Norwegian-based company, Aker Yards Ukraine Holding AS, which in turn would own 100 per cent of the yards in Nikolaev, Wismar and Warnemuende.

Aker Yards would remain as owner of 30 per cent of Aker Yards Ukraine Holding AS, which will keep its head office in Oslo. The transaction would be completed in summer.

The announcement from Aker described West's parent FLC as a Russian-state-controlled investment company with 1.5 billion dollars in a leasing portfolio, established to invest in industries of strategic importance including shipbuilding and shipping.