Alstom Sells Shipbuilding Division to Aker Yards

Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Aker Yards and Alstom announced their intention to join forces in shipbuilding in which the companies would establish a new company consisting of the shipyards in Saint-Nazaire and Lorient. Aker Yards would own 75 percent of this new company and Alstom would commit itself to keep the remaining 25 percent until 2010. The transaction would enable continuity in management and the actions taken as part of the “Marine 2010“ performance improvement and cost reduction program already under implementation in ALSTOM Marine. The transaction would have no direct impact on employment. By being part of Aker Yards, the new company would benefit from a broadened product range and strong industrial synergies. Aker Yards has 13 yards in 5 countries in which it has demonstrated its ability to implement synergies. It would be in a position to address the strong growth which is expected in this market. The new company would benefit from a unique design competence, combining the long tradition of French and Finnish cruise shipbuilding, that has produced icons such as SS France, Queen Mary 2, the Voyager class and the Freedom class ships. Aker Yards would also be in a position to fully leverage Chantiers de l’Atlantique's large industrial capacity in cruise ships and naval vessels in Saint-Nazaire. The shipyard is ideally positioned to handle the construction of very large ships and is able to respond to a cruise market which demands vessels of ever-increasing size. Aker Yards would pay $360 million for the 75% stake of the new company. Depending on the financial performance, the remaining 25% would be sold to Aker Yards for up to $150 million in 2010. The new company would be adequately funded to ensure the ability to independently finance its future growth. An estimated amount of $ 420 million would be injected by Alstom into the newly formed company. This amount would notably cover the anticipated increase in working capital requirements from the current negative situation to an average of $119 million for the new company. This transaction would increase Alstom’s indebtedness by up to $360 million. It would impact the ALSTOM Group consolidated accounts with a loss of up to $119 million. The proposed transaction would be subject to a number of conditions, including finalization of the agreement between the parties, the effective setting-up of the new company, the requisite financing for the new company’s activities, the authorization of the European authorities, the information / consultation of the work councils, confirmatory due diligence and other relevant conditions. It is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2006.
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