A German consortium has submitted a $130 million bid for Greece's premier naval manufacturer. A consortium comprised of Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft, or HDW, and Ferrostaal submitted the bid for Hellenic Shipyards. The Greek company maintains ships for the Hellenic Navy and has helped develop subsystems. The German consortium joins two other bids for the shipyards, also called Skaramanga. They came from Elefsina Shipyards and CMN of France.
The German bid calls for a first of payment of about $13 million. The next payment of $35 million would be submitted to cover the losses of the shipyards for 2001. The consortium then pledged to modernize Hellenic Shipyards at a cost of $15 million. In the last step of the process, HDW would transfer about $55 million worth of technology to enable the Greek company to construct and upgrade submarines. The government has encouraged the privatization of state-owned defense firms such as Skaramanga. Officials are also urging Greek defense contractors to merge in an effort to avoid duplication in production as well as research and development. So far, two of the nation's four state-owned companies have started to merge in a process that could take up to 2004.