Aker Yards has today signed a Letter of Intent with NCL Corporation Ltd. ("NCL") for building a high standard cruise vessel. The LOI, valid until end January 2005, also includes an option for a second ship, for delivery in early 2008, with exercise of the option by end of August 2005.
The plan is to build the 89,000 GT Panamax-class cruise vessel in Aker Finnyards' Helsinki shipyard for delivery in spring 2007. The value of the contract to Aker Yards is in the range of EUR 350 - 400 million.
Miami-based NCL together with Hong Kong based parent company Star Cruises Ltd. forms the world's third biggest cruise owner group, operating some twenty cruise vessels.
"For Aker Finnyards this Letter of Intent is a strategic opening to create a new customer relationship as well as a possibility to deliver a new series of vessels", says Yrjö Julin, President of Aker Finnyards.
Mr. Julin adds: "We have been able to come to this agreement with NCL based on synergy effects planned from the combination our three Finnish yards."
"We are very pleased to renew our relationship with Aker Finnyards some 16 years after they last built a ship for NCL. By building now in two shipyards instead of our traditional one we can respond to the fast growing demand in our market and achieve our goal of replacing all of our mid-sized ships with large modern ships by the end of this decade. Aker Finnyards is known to be one of the very best builders of high quality large cruise ships and we are looking forward to a rewarding partnership", said Colin Veitch, President and CEO of NCL.
The contract would mean in all 3,000 man years of work for Aker Finnyards and its co-operating companies
For more information, please contact:
Tore Langballe, SVP Communications and Investor Relations, tel. +47 90 777 841
Yrjö Julin, President, tel. +358 40 751 7940
Sinikka Railo, Communications Manager, tel. +358 40 5120253
Aker Yards is an international shipbuilding group focusing on sophisticated vessels and is Europe's largest and one of the world's five largest shipbuilders. The group has a strong position both in terms of innovation, product range, technology, experience and capacity. The product range includes cruise vessels and ferries, merchant vessels, offshore vessels and other complex vessels. Aker Yards, with a turnover of NOK 16 bn. in 2003, comprises 13 yards in Norway, Finland, Germany, Romania and Brazil and has approximately 14,500 employees. www.akeryards.com
Aker Finnyards: From December 7, 2004 Finland's three largest shipyards operate under common name: The yards situated in Helsinki, Rauma and Turku form the new Aker Finnyards - the Finnish yards within the Aker Yards Group. The new operative organisation will be valid from January 1, 2005 when the yards continue their work together as one company. Aker Finnyards is amongst world leading designers and builders of cruise vessels and ferries as well as other technically complex vessels.
During the last ten years, over 25% of the world's cruise ships have come from the company's shipyards, the major customers within this vessel segment being the globally leading cruise operators. Aker Finnyards is also the leading ferry builder in the world.