Gdynia To Take Stake in Finnish Yard

Friday, February 11, 2000
Poland's Gdynia Shipyard is likely to take up 20-25 percent of shares in the Finnish Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Gdynia's chief executive Janusz Szlanta said last week. "Negotiations with other investors are still under way and nothing final has been decided yet. Everything points to the fact that Gdynia will take up a stake of between 20 and 25 percent," Szlanta said. "Four groups of investors will buy a new share issue, addressed only to them. The Gdynia shipyard wants to increase its stake in Masa-Yards in the future, but that will not happen sooner than in a year," Szlanta said. He declined to name the value of the transaction, adding final negotiations would probably end in two months. Apart from Gdynia, Masa-Yards investors include a group of the Finnish shipyard's management, suppliers and insurer Sampo, Kvaerner and regular buyers of the shipards vessels - Royal Caribbean. After radical restructuring in he early 1990s Gdynia is now the world's eighth biggest shipyard and through buying into Masa-Yards wants to diversify its production, Szlanta said. In 1998 it bought the bankrupt Gdansk shipyard for 115 million zlotys and had a profit of 100 million zlotys on 1.4 billion zloty ($340 million) sales. Its sales rose to $400 million in 1999 and Szlanta said he expected the figure to grow to $570 million this year. "The market has improved considerably," he said.

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