French engineering conglomerate Alstom and Norwegian company Aker Yards announced plans to join forces to create a shipbuilding giant, with Aker Yards owning 75.0 percent of the joint venture. Alstom and Aker Yards plan to create a new company, consisting of the Alstom subsidiary Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyards in Saint-Nazaire and Lorient, the two companies said in a joint statement.
"By joining the forces of Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Aker Yards, we can create a unique position in the shipbuilding industry, ready to meet the ever increasing needs of tomorrows' demanding cruise passengers," said Aker Yards chief executive Karl Erik Kjelstad.Aker Yards, which owns 13 shipyards in five countries, would buy a 75.0-percent stake in the new company for 50.0 million euros (60.2 million dollars). Alstom would commit itself to keeping the remaining 25.0 percent until 2010.
Aker Yards would have an option to buy the remaining 25.0 percent from Alstom in 2010 for up to 125.0 million euros. The final price would depend on financial performance. The agreement was not yet final, but Aker Yards said it expected the deal to close by the end of March. The planned transaction remains subject to regulatory, financial and administrative conditions.