Kvaerner was responding to an announcement by the European Commission. The Commission is to start formal proceedings to examine whether the yard had received any excess subsidies in connection with its privatization of the yard and, if so, whether any subsidies should be repaid to the German authorities.
Kvaerner says that the German authorities "make it clear that they do not consider any excess subsidies for the privatization of the yard have been paid to Kvaerner, and further, they express their disappointment that the Commission finds it necessary to open formal proceedings in this case. "
Kvaerner acquired the yard in 1992 as part of the privatization of companies in the former East Germany.
Kvaerner says that the German authorities share its opinion that the contracts entered into, were and still are - balanced with regard to the distribution of risk and reward between Treuhandanstalt, as the vendor, and Kvaerner as buyer. The contracts were presented to, and carefully examined by, the EU authorities at the time, and the EU authorities approved all payments to Kvaerner. Treuhandanstalt was the German state agency charged with privatizing companies such as Warnow Werft.
Kvaerner says that, in a statement today, the German authorities have further confirmed that Kvaerner has complied in full with all elements of the contract. The restructuring of the yard was completed in 1995, and Kvaerner has satisfied all obligations in respect of its own investments in the yard, employment, and completion of the order backlog at the time of take-over. During the restructuring period from 1992 to 1995, the EU was regularly updated on the state of development through special progress reports issued by the yard. There was no claim of non-compliance with any part of the contract made or suggested during this period.
It is expected that the formal proceedings now opened by the Commission will not be concluded until next year.
Separately, the EU Commission has ruled
that in 1998, Kvaerner Warnow Werft allegedly exceeded the capacity
limitations applied on the yard. Kvaerner has contested the ruling
and filed an appeal with the European Court of Justice. A procedure
regarding alleged over-production in 1997 is still ongoing. Kvaerner
has "as a matter of prudence" provided for the total
penalty anticipated for the alleged breach of the capacity limitation
in 1997 and 1998 in the 1999 accounts.
Levant chooses Dex for
newbuilding hull insurance
In terms of claims handling and loss prevention services, Dex promises to make more use of internet capabilities than traditional insurers. Shipowners and brokers will have direct on-line access to the Dex website, wherever they are in the world. However, with a presence in more than 80 countries around the globe, Dex will provide not only an on-line but also a physical local contact.
Now Levant Maritime International SA has chosen Dex as the hull insurer for its seven new bulk carriers currently being built at Sanoyas Hishino Meisho Corporation in Japan. The policy marks Dex's first fleet since it opened for underwriting business at the beginning of this year.
Under the terms of the cover, 70% of the business will be underwritten by Dex and the remaining 30% by the London market, all under the terms of Dex's Codex2000 wording. Dex says it underwrites on an all-risks basis with clearly explained exclusions, covering hull, increased value, war and loss of income. Each package is tailored to a specific customer's requirements. Codex2000 is a new wording described as offering "comprehensive cover, modern ideas and straightforward terms."
Levant Maritime is an innovative and rapidly-expanding
Piraeus-based shipowner specializing in the bulk markets. It
currently owns and operates four bulk carrier s and general cargo
vessels. The seven new ships in question are 51,800 DWT state-of-the-art
bulk carriers with five 30 ton cranes. They are due for delivery
between July 2000 and October 2001. Levant Maritime is closely
associated with the Greek industrial multinational Leventis-David
Group, which is active in Greece, Eastern Europe, Russia, the
Last year a group of investors led by Saltchuk
Resources Inc. of Seattle and Levant Maritime bought the interests
of Fednav Limited and Citicorp Venture Capital in Navios Corporation
and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
Dex says that with the buyout (together with Saltchuk Resources) of Navios Corporation, the largest US-based ocean trader of dry bulk cargoes, Levant Maritime "will secure a coveted piece of chartering business for its pooled new fleet and create new synergies in shipping and the bulk trades. "
Dex was the natural choice for Levant Maritime, according to a company spokesman:
"For the new vessels our principals
wanted a specialist hull insurer that provides top-class service
in the P&I service ethos whilst also being competitively
priced. Dex was the obvious choice. Codex2000 provides a straightforward,
no-fuss insurance package and we are confident that the service
we get will be unbeatable. Furthermore, the financial security
Miller Insurance Group, which is not connected
with Thomas Miller, was responsible for broking the deal. Miller
Dex's marketing director, Martin Bonds
says it is encouraging to have attracted
"brand-new vessels of such quality
While Dex aims to differentiate itself from other insurance providers by developing close relationships with shipowners, this first signing demonstrates the continued role of the broker. Dex underwriter Peter Wright comments:
"The Miller Insurance Group is a reputable broking operation whose negotiating and intermediary skills were clearly important in getting Levant the best package possible. The company was instrumental in helping Dex tailor the ideal insurance product for the seven bulk carriers."