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Davie Finalizes Acquisition of Finland’s Helsinki Shipyard Oy (HSO)

The historic transaction combines the skills, experience and capabilities of two leaders in Arctic shipbuilding and other high-value products. While the Canadian and Finnish shipyard will be separate legal and operating entities, the business headquarters will remain in Québec. The transaction will create opportunities for employees, encourage collaboration, facilitate the transfer of know-how, provide access to resources, and stimulate export potential.

While the details of the business purchase agreement are confidential, the transaction was made possible by a combination of Davie’s own funds and by €77 million ($110 million) of financing from the Québec government consisting of an equity investment of €30 million ($43 million) and a loan of €47 million ($67 million). A significant proportion of the funds will go to ensuring the shipyard has working capital while it gets up and running and secures new business.

Importantly, the Canadian government has looked favorably on the potential synergies resulting from the transaction for the construction of icebreakers under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Together, Davie and Helsinki Shipyard will deliver critical expertise for government and commercial customers. Both shipbuilders, renowned for their leadership and expert knowledge in clean energy solutions, will contribute to the creation of a greener and more sustainable ocean-going fleet.

The completion of the transaction is the culmination of a series of milestones, beginning in December 2022. In March 2023, Davie exercised an exclusive option to purchase the assets of HSO. This was followed in April by the signing of a business purchase agreement, and on July 4 Davie secured a new 50-year land lease from the City of Helsinki.

James Davies, Davie President and CEO, and Co-owner “We are delighted to bring two historic and highly complementary businesses together. It would not have been possible without the support of Québec, the City of Helsinki, Finland and Canada. We are confident our talented people and world-class supply chain will quickly form the preeminent global centre of excellence for green Arctic shipbuilding, and other specialized products. Empowered by Helsinki shipyard’s unique know-how, Québec can also more efficiently deliver Canada’s polar icebreaker order book, which is the western world’s largest.”

Alex Vicefield, Inocea Chairman and CEO, and co-owner “Linking together the capabilities, capacity and expertise of the two global leaders in ice-class vessel and icebreaker construction is a strategically important development for the western world. The Arctic is critical for future security, trade, navigation and the environment and Inocea is proud to be at the forefront of this next frontier.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy “The collaboration established through this acquisition will benefit both the Davie Group and its multiple suppliers throughout Quebec. As a result, the Davie Group is well positioned to secure contracts around the world. This is a win-win transaction for both sides of the ocean.”

Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada Minister of Public Services and Procurement “It is with great pride that we see Davie acquire a world-class shipbuilding jewel, boosting the efficiency of icebreaker and ferry construction as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This acquisition will bring a clear advantage in terms of supply chain cost management through increased purchasing power, while maximizing the long-term economic impact for Canada and the greater Québec City region. Finally, the transaction will also open up new international markets for the local supply chain. This is yet another step towards making the Québec City region a world-class maritime hub.”

Wille Rydman, Finland Minister of Economic Affairs “Thanks to the new owner, the future of the shipyard and the entire Finnish marine industry looks brighter. It is also very positive for the Finnish state that the change of ownership took place on market terms.”

Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki “We have gained a strong, stable and competent operator from a reputable country for our shipyard operations. Versatile and vibrant business activity enables the success of Helsinki and enhances the well-being of our people. This is very welcome and happy news for all Helsinki residents.”

Kim Salmi, Managing Director, Helsinki shipyard “This is the best possible news for Helsinki shipyard, our talented workforce and our supply chain. After months of planning, our top priority is to rapidly return this business to what it does best – designing and building world-class ships quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.”

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