Davie Shipbuilding negotiating purchase of Helsinki Shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey
Helsinki Shipyard couldn't export tyhis icebreaker to Russia

Russia sanctions blocked Helsinki Shipyard from exporting an advanced icebreaker to Norilsk Nickel, [Image: Aker Arctic Technology]

Canada’s Davie Shipbuilding (Chantier Davie Canada Inc.) is in advanced negotiations to buy Finland’s Helsinki Shipyard. In a press release yesterday, the Lévis, Quebec, headquartered shipbuilder announced it had exercise of its exclusive option to purchase the assets of the Helsinki yard. What this means is that Davie is the only party with whom the shipyard is negotiating a potential deal.

“The option to purchase does not mean an acquisition is completed,” said Davie. “It is subject to the successful execution of thorough due diligence, including financial, regulatory and legal considerations, as well as final decision making by Davie.

Davie President and CEO James Davies said: “If the acquisition is successful, it would combine two historic and highly complementary businesses creating the western world’s leading international centers of excellence for Arctic shipbuilding.”

The ongoing process is otherwise confidential, and Davie will make further comment only upon reaching a major milestone such as the signing of a purchase agreement.

However, in its reporting, Finnish public broadcaster YLE quotes Davie’s chief communications officer Paul Barrett as saying that the negotiations are at an advanced stage and that the deal could be sealed within weeks.

Helsinki Shipyard is owned by Algador Holdings. That company is owned by Russians Rishat Bagautdinov and Vladimir Kasyanenko, whose companies include Russia’s largest river cruise ship operator, Vodohod LLC. Algador bought the yard from Russia’s sanctioned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) back in 2019. USC had bought it in 2010.

Neither Bagautdinov nor Kasyanenko are currently sanctioned themselves. Still, the yard, which is one of the world’s top builders of Arctic tonnage, has been hard hit by general sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have frozen its business with Russia, long one of its main markets. Back in October last year, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs denied the shipyard an export license for an icebreaker on order for Russian mining firm Norilsk Nickel.

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