November 20, 2001
New Kvaerner CEO plans to keep Philadelphia yard
Kristian Siem, the new chief executive officer of Kvaerner ASA visited the company's Philadelphia shipyard last week. Soon after he returned to London, he declared that the yard was no longer for sale, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"I'm not thinking of selling. I'm thinking about operating the yard. As CEO of Kvaerner, I feel a responsibility to be a constructive, responsible owner of the yard," said in a telephone interview with the newspaper.
Siem told the Inquirer he came to Philadelphia so quickly because the yard is one of Kvaerner's "serious problem areas ...We are losing substantial money in Philadelphia ...Something needs to be done immediately."
There is a strong market for the ships the yard is designed to build, but the Philadelphia operation has not achieved the level of productivity it takes to build those ships at a profit, the newspaper reports Siem as saying.
"Fortunately, that is something that we can bring under control," he said.
Siem, 51, a former chairman of Norwegian Cruise Lines and the son of a shipbuilder, says he will run Kvaerner's three remaining yards profitably, reports the Inquirer.
Aker Maritime buys more shares in Kværner
Meantime, Kjell Inge Rjøkke's Aker Maritime today increased its shareholding in Kværner from 17.9 to 20.15 per cent. It said this would strengthen ita opportunities for protecting its minority interests in Kværner.
Since the larger shareholding does not give Aker Maritime a controlling interest in Kværner, the company is not under a duty to report it to the European Commission's competition authorities. It has nevertheless notified the Commission of the share purchase.
Aker Maritime has bought 2 503 500 Kværner shares for just over NOK
13 per share. The company already held 18 980 836 shares in Kværner, which are booked at NOK 10 per share. After the acquisition, its
holding in Kværner totals 21 484 336 shares.