Russian state company buys out Helsinki shipyard

The Russian state-owned shipbuilder United Shipbuilding Corporation USC has bought out half of the share of the Helsinki dockyard belonging to STX Finland.

The deal means that the capital city shipyard is now fully Russian-owned.

Prior to the sale announced Tuesday, both companies – USC and STX Finland – each owned half of the shipyard and operated it jointly.

“I am convinced that USC is committed to developing Arctech (Helsinki shipyard) over the long term,” said chief executive Esko Mustamäki.

“This is a good foundation for future operations. We also believe in the owner’s commitment to further strengthening the company compared to its previous ownership structure,” he added.

The Russian shipbuilder announced its interest in acquiring the Hietalahti dockyard last October. However it was later placed on a list of Russian companies facing western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

The parties did not disclose how much money changed hands in the deal, but the Russian politics and business daily Kommersant has estimated that the sale price was about 20 million euros.

The Arctech Helsinki Shipyard specialises in arctic marine technology, and has special expertise in constructing icebreakers, six of which are currently in production. All will be handed over to Russia, except for one icebreaker being built for the Finnish Transport Agency.

The company currently employs roughly 500 shipbuilders. USC operates a group of shipbuilding, repair and maintenance companies in western, northern and far eastern Russia.

Related stories from around the North:

Asia:  Full steam ahead for Asian icebreakers in the Arctic this summer, Blog by Mia Bennett

Canada: Canada’s Arctic patrol ships – A $250M mystery, CBC News

Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News

Russia: Russia, icebreakers and Arctic identity, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Swedish icebreakers gear up for Arctic role, Radio Sweden

United States: New ferry contract part of effort to create shipbuilding industry in Alaska, Alaska Dispatch

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