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Zaliv takes majority stake in Bergen Shipbuilding Division

Written by Nick Blenkey

zalivJULY 19, 2013 — Norway’s Bergen Group ASA is selling a majority stake in it Shipbuilding Division to a Ukrainian shipbuilder.

Zaliv Shipyard (left) has been a major supplier of hulls to Norway’s  Ulstein Group among others

JSV Zaliv Shipyard, one of the leading hull construction shipyards in Central and Eastern Europe, will pay $18.2 million for 51 percent of the shares in a newly incorporated company thatwill own all of Bergen Group’s shipbuilding assets, other than existing projects, which will remain with Bergen Group.

Established in 1938, Zaliv is a former naval shipbuilder and is situated on the the Kerch Strait, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in Ukraine. It has its own design bureau, Zaliv Ship Designer, and in 2012, it constructed six highly outfitted hulls, repaired 35 vessels and exported its products to customers in the Netherlands, Norway and other countries.

Zaliv is ultimately owned by Ukrainian billionaire entrepreneur Kostyantin Zhevago, whose other interests include iron ore mining group, Ferrexpo which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has total assets of approximately $2.8 billion.

Bergen Group says The new company will strengthen its international market position based on an improved financial platform, stronger product portfolio, complementary knowledge and increased capacity throughout the entire production process.

“Bergen Group is excited to bring the Group’s shipbuilding activities to a new level,” said Bergen Group CEO Asle Solheim. “The new constellation brings in a strategic partner that will considerably strengthen both the control of the value chain from basic design, detailed engineering and hull construction to final delivery of the vessels.The new company will have a strong position for international competitiveness and future growth.”

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Bergen Group which provides Zaliv with an exciting opportunity to expand its market reach,” commented Mykola Kuzmenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zaliv. “Together, the new company will become a significant and competitive player within various segments of the shipbuilding market.”

Completion of the transaction is contingent upon i.a. different consensus from third parties, anti-trust approvals and other customary closing conditions. Completion is expected to take place before year end 2013. On completion of the transaction the two shareholders will contribute in aggregate NOK 50 million in working capital to the new Company ensuring a sound capital base for further expansion. Furthermore a hull construction financing facility of up to USD 40 million, available as from today, has been provided by for the company.

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