May 5, 2008
EC gives nod for STX acquisition of Aker Yards
The Oslo Stock Exchange halted trading in the shares of Aker Yards for a period today. The share price had jumped after the European Commission had announced its approval of the proposed acquisition of control of Aker Yards by STX of South Korea. A Commission press release said that after an in-depth investigation, launched in December 2007, the Commission concluded that effective competition on the shipbuilding markets would not be significantly impeded as a result of the proposed transaction.
Some investors apparently took that to mean that STX would launch an immediate effort to gain control and shares Aker Yards shares jumped an initial 20 percent.
For its part, STX issued a statement saying it "believes that it will be vital to retain Aker Yards' group structure in order to enable Aker Yards to create shareholder value, secure key competencies in the company and improve the global competitiveness of the company."
STX said it would act as an "industrial partner" to strengthen Aker Yards "in all vital areas of business."
STX currently owns 39.2 percent of Aker Yards. If it takes its holding over 40 percent, it will be obliged to make a mandatory offer for the rest of the company.
Aker Yards Annual General Meeting is set for May 21 in Oslo. It should be lively.