Aker Yards has through the media been informed that the French government, after discussions with the company STX, intends to buy a total of 34 percent of the shares in Aker Yards France. Aker Yards France includes two yards, in Saint Nazaire and in Loreant, STX is a shareholder in the publicly listed Aker Yards ASA, with 39.2 percent of the shares.
"We are surprised to learn through the media that the French government has announced that they intend to buy a total of 34 percent of the shares in Aker Yards France based on a dialogue with STX Aker Yards has significantly contributed to the positive development of financial results and in employment in Aker Yards France, and we appreciate that the yards are regarded as attractive. The Board of Directors has previously not considered to sell parts of our French activities We see it as unlikely that Aker Yards will sell any part of our business if the terms are not attractive for both all of our owners and for the further development of the company. After learning about the French government's intentions today, we expect to receive more detailed information", says Svein Sivertsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Aker Yards ASA.
Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries, consisting of three yards in Finland and two in France, has today a total of 13 passenger vessels in the orderbook, 6 of which are ferries. As one of the world's two largest cruise ship builders and the leading ferry builder, the company has for years set new standards in vessel design, size, and comfort, both in the cruise industry and the ferry transportation market.
Torbjorn Andersen, SVP, Communications & IR, Aker Yards ASA, phone +47 928 85542
Aker Yards ASA (www.akeryards.com) is an international shipbuilding group focusing on sophisticated vessels. The group has a strong position both in terms of innovation, product range, technology, experience and capacity. The product range includes cruise vessels & ferries, merchant vessels, offshore & specialized vessels. Aker Yards comprises 18 yards in Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Romania, Ukraine and Vietnam with approximately 21,000 employees.
Aker Yards has agreed to take the Russian investment company FLC West in as a partner and 70 percent owner in the three yards in Germany and Ukraine with effect from 1 July, 2008.
Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries business area comprises three shipyards and two cabin factories in Finland, two shipyards, a cabin factory and a design company in France, and life cycle service activities in Finland, France and the USA. With a focus on innovative design and powerful cruise experiences, Aker Yards is the world's leading cruise ship builder.