-Kvaerner Masa Yards Inc potentially to build Luxury Residence Ship to be operated by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
HELSINKI, Finland, 15 June, 2004 - Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. (KMY), has signed a conditional contract with FS Ocean Club Ltd., managed by Ocean Development Group, to design, construct and deliver an approximately 42,500 Gross Ton luxury residential ship to be branded, managed and operated by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The ship, to be named the M/S Four Seasons, will be approximately 200 meters in length and will feature approximately 100 spacious residences varying from 125 square meters to 320 square meters.
"KMY is excited to have the opportunity to work with both Four Seasons and Ocean Development Group on this new project," said Mr. Yrjö Julin, President and CEO, KMY. "With our combined experience, we are sure that M/S Four Seasons will promote the new residential lifestyle that can be offered at sea."
The value of the contract is approximately 276 million and will, when confirmed correspond to about two thousand man-years employment at KMY and its suppliers and subcontractors. KMY has built more than 25% of the world's modern passenger ship fleet, and enjoys an unprecedented on-time delivery record. Construction of the M/S Four Seasons, which is anticipated to take 24 months to complete, will commence when sales targets for the residences have been reached, which is expected to occur before July 2005.
The agreement includes an option to contract a similar vessel to be exercised within year 2005 as soon as the sales targets for residences have been reached for the second vessel.
"The signing of this conditional contract with KMY and our agreement with Four Seasons are significant milestones in our plan to create a unique residential community at sea," said Chairman and CEO of Ocean Development Group, Mr. Kristian Stensby. "The development in recent years of branded luxury residential resort communities has shown there is great potential demand for the unique lifestyle experience we will offer."
"We are excited to expand our residential portfolio with this new and visionary lifestyle product," added Kathleen Taylor, President, worldwide business operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "The M/S Four Seasons will offer our guests the opportunity to experience the Four Seasons lifestyle in locations where we do not currently have a presence, and will become a showcase for the highly personalised service for which Four Seasons is renowned."
For more information, please contact:
Aker Yards ASA
Mr. Tore Langballe, SVP Corporate Communications & IR tel. + 47 24 13 01 30
Ms. Minna Staffans, Manager Corporate Communications tel. + 358 10 670 2409
FS Ocean Club
Mrs. Sissy De Maria, Corporate Communication tel. + 1 305 663 3543
With a history spanning four decades and a portfolio that extends worldwide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is the world's leading operator of luxury hotels, currently managing 62 properties in 29 countries. Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche opened March 25, 2004, the company's first resort in Europe. Four Seasons continues to grow, with more than 20 projects under construction or development in choice locations around the world. In the next several months, the company will open new properties in Budapest, Hungary; Whistler, Canada; and Hampshire, England. Four Seasons consistently ranks high in global awards and accolades. In addition to having the most Mobil Five Star awards in the industry, Four Seasons was included in Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For" for the seventh year in a row. The company is also consistently highly ranked in readers' surveys in publications such as
Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Institutional Investor, Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, Gallivanter's Guide and the Zagat Survey. Information on the company and its 43 years of achievement in the hospitality industry can be accessed through the Four Seasons Web site at www.fourseasons.com
Aker Yards is an international shipbuilding group focusing on complex and sophisticated vessels and is Europe's largest and one of the world's five largest shipbuilders.Aker Yards has a strong position both in terms of capacity, product range, technology and experience. The Company's product range includes offshore vessels, cruise and ferry vessels, other complex vessels and merchant vessels. The Group has 13 yards in four countries in Europe and in Brazil. Aker Yards had a turnover of NOK 16 bn. in 2003, and has approximately 14.500 employees.
Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. operates two highly modern newbuilding yards, in Turku and Helsinki, specialising in designing and building cruise vessels, ferries and technically demanding vessels. Piikkio Works Oy, a separate company under Kvaerner Masa-Yards, specialises in the manufacture of ready-to-install modular cabins and bathrooms, on two locations in Finland. Kvaerner Masa-Yards also offers marine related design and engineering services, at its marine engineering units located in Finland and Canada. In 2003 Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. had annual revenues of about 770 million, and an own staff of about 3,600. Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. is owned by Aker Yards ASA, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.