Damen Expands Footprint with Keppel Verolme Shipyard

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  • As Greece Asks Bidders to Increase Thessaloniki Offer

The Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group has entered into an agreement with Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine for the acquisition of the Keppel Verolme shipyard in the Rotterdam Botlek area.

With the acquisition of the Verolme shipyard, Damen strengthens its repair and conversion activities within the regional ship repair and conversion market.

Since 1957 the Verolme yard has been active in the Botlek area of the Port of Rotterdam with three graving docks, a quay capacity of over 1,800 metres and around 250 employees.

With the largest dock measuring 90 x 405 metres Damen said that it would gain capacity to cater for the largest maritime objects. Currently, the company’s biggest dock in the Netherlands is located at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam and measures 46 x 307 metres.

Damen added that it intends to continue activities in the Botlek area with the current employees of the yard.

With the Verolme yard, Damen will have four large repair yards within close proximity of the port of Rotterdam. The two yards in Rotterdam, along with Damen’s yards in Vlissingen and Amsterdam, will cooperate to maximise the use of each other’s expertise, further developing synergy advantages and jointly marketing their capacity, according to the company.

A notification of the proposed transaction has been filed with the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets on April 10, 2017. Damen expects to close the transaction by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

In the meantime, after it received three bids for the sale of a 67% stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority, Greece has asked the interested companies to submit improved financial offers.

Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) requested the improved bids on April 7, after the Board of Directors unsealed the three binding financial offers from International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) from the Philippines, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, a DP World company, and Germany’s Deutsche Invest Equity Partners GmbH together with Belterra Investments LTD and Terminal Link SAS.

The three companies submitted their offers on March 24.

Citing port officials, Reuters earlier informed that once the improved bids are in, the winner of the tender should be familiar by the end of the next month.

Under the terms of the tender, the winner would be given a 40-year concession to operate the port, which is being privatized within Greece’s bailout plan.

The buyer of the majority stake in Thessaloniki is expected to invest up to EUR 180 million (USD 192 million) in port development by 2021.

Thessaloniki Port Authority, the second largest port in the country, is being privatized under the same terms as its counterpart Piraeus, the majority stake of which was officially acquired by China’s port operator Cosco Group (Hong Kong) Limited in August 2016.

The privatization processes of the country’s two ports were launched in 2014.

World Maritime News

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