Aker Yards Merges Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Aker Finnyards

Aker Yards Group will merge its two shipyards in Finland, Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc and Aker Finnyards Inc. The new company will be named Aker Finnyards. The Aker Finnyards name describes Aker Yards shipyard activities in Finland. The new, operative organisation will take effect on January 1, 2005.

Masa-Yards will acquire Aker Finnyards share capital and change its name into Aker Finnyards. In connection with the acquisition, the present Aker Finnyards will change its name into Aker Finnyards Rauma and function as a subsidiary to Aker Finnyards until next year, when the subsidiary will be merged with Aker Finnyards.

Karl-Erik Kjelstad, CEO and President of Aker Yards states: "Combining our two cruise- and ferry specialised shipyards bring valuable synergies and strengthens their competitive position in the global cruise- and ferry markets. It is also a natural continuation to our efforts in streamlining our operations. We can easily draw parallels with this merger to the earlier mergers between our German shipyards in Wismar and Rostock-Warnemünde and the ongoing merger between our Norwegian shipyards, Aker Brattvaag and Aker Langsten."

Moving forward

The integration process of Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Aker Finnyards will be lead by Mr. Yrjö Julin. Mr. Julin will continue as President for Aker Finnyards, earlier named Kvaerner Masa-Yards. The management team will consist of Senior Vice President, Business Development and Shipbuilding Projects Mr. Bo-Erik Blomqvist; Senior Vice President, Finance Mr. Jyrki Heinimaa; Senior Vice President, Design Mr. Sauli Eloranta; Senior Vice President, Purchasing Mr. Jussi Voima, Senior Vice President, Production Mr. Erik Skogström, and Senior Vice President, Human Resources Mr. Marko Konu. Mr. Blomqvist will also function as Deputy to the President. He will also be responsible for Marketing and Sales.

"Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Aker Finnyards strategies complete each other. The merger gives us a firm foundation to further develop our strategy to be the global market leader in the cruise-, ferry- and technically complex vessel business. After the merger we can concentrate on further improving our products and services for our customers," says Mr Julin.

"The integration project teams will start their work already during this week. The new company will be fully merged by the turn of the year and Finland's three largest shipyard's will continue their work together as one company. The new Aker Finnyards will be a world leading designer and builder of cruise-, ferry- and technically complex vessels."

The new company

The new Aker Finnyards will be a part of Aker Yards shipbuilding group, which in addition to Aker Finnyards, includes yards in Norway, Germany, Romania and Brazil.

The new company will employ some 4500 persons of which 1000 is located at the Rauma shipyard, 2000 at the Turku shipyard, 1250 at the Helsinki shipyard, and some 250 at the cabin manufacturer in Piikkiö and Paimio. The combined revenues of Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Aker Finnyards for 2003 was roughly EUR 1 billion.

Presently, Aker Finnyards shipyard in Rauma is building a cruise ship for Birka Line and a third Hamina-class fast surface combatant for the Finnish Navy. Kvaerner Masa-Yards shipyard in Turku is building the world's largest cruise ferry for Color Line as well as the world's two largest cruise ships, "Ultra Voyager", for Royal Caribbean International, and the shipyard in Helsinki is working on two orders from Russia, one ice breaking supply and stand-by vessel as well as an arctic container vessel. In addition to the two shipyards, Kvaerner Masa-Yards has an arctic technology research centre and a sister company, Piikkio Works Oy, the world's leading manufacturer of prefabricated cabins.