Shipyards Hold “Informal” Merger Talks

Monday, July 31, 2000
Keppel Hitachi Zosen reportedly had informal merger discussions with rival SembCorp Marine today. "...we have had informal discussions with SembCorp Marine but we have not come to grips with any hard figures yet," chairman designate of Keppel Hitachi Choo Chiau Beng said following the shipyard's half year results. Singapore is estimated to have an excess shipyard capacity of 20 percent, mostly from the new floating docks commissioned in the last five years. He said Keppel Hitachi might look to sell its excess capacity including its Philippines shipyard, to improve profitability. As for Keppel's rig building arm Keppel FELS, it is targeting to achieve 12 percent return on equity by 2003.

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