The Helsinki shipyard, which is struggling financially as a result of the sanctions put in place against Russia, will be purchased by Canadian shipbuilding business Davie.
Since the beginning of the year, negotiations in secret have been taking place to complete the corporate deal, and they have made some headway.
Paul Barrett, director of communications at Davie and a participant in the negotiations, claims that if the deal is successfully completed, it will result in the establishment of the world’s top Arctic icebreaking firm.
In the best situation, he said, a potential deal might be finished in a matter of weeks. At this point, he does not want to discuss the agreed-upon purchase price.
“A representative of the Finnish maritime sector called our attention to the shipyard in Helsinki. We occasionally receive the same kind of contact, but they often do not pique our interest. The shipyard in Helsinki was an exception.
The Helsinki shipyard has extensive experience manufacturing arctic ships, which piqued Davie’s interest. For almost a year, the shipyard has also been hunting for a new owner.
The shipyard was established by the Cypriot investment firm Algador Holdings and is currently controlled by Russian investors Rishat Bagautdinovin and Vladimir Kasyanenko.
The shipyard cannot sell ships to Russia, which has been its most significant export market, as a result of EU sanctions. The shipyard’s owners or management have not been subject to any penalties.
Davie has communicated with the Finnish Ministry of Labor and the Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, Business Finland, Finnvera, and Teollisuussijoitus in relation to the anticipated sale. Prior to making a decision, the objective is to make sure the agreement is acceptable.
“Finland’s potential participation in NATO is a positive development, but any commerce would be entirely economic in nature. There are discussions between Canada, Finland, and other Nordic nations regarding Arctic security, energy security, and more adaptable supply chains in a more uncertain world than before, according to Barrett.
Two people with knowledge of the situation claim that Davie conducted himself extremely professionally throughout the discussions and hired reputable Finnish advisors.
Icebreakers and other specialized boats for arctic conditions are the shipyard’s area of expertise. Smaller cruise ships have also been constructed there recently.
The icebreaker that the Russian mining and metals business Nornickel had bought was not given an export permission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September. The warship will not be built in Helsinki, despite the fact that it was only in the planning stages.
Paul Barrett, the head of communications for Canadian shipyard Davie, took part in the negotiations. Image: HS/EMILIA ANUNDI
The Davie shipyard has been operating in Quebec since 2012 and is owned by the private equity firm Inocean. The shipyard was established in 1825, and it frequently teetered on insolvency. It has had to rely on funds from the Canadian government over the years.
Icebreakers are another area of expertise for Davie, who also produces cruisers and warships.
The corporation claims it has contracts for orders totaling 9.3 billion Canadian dollars, or 6.3 billion euros. The Canadian government is the most significant client.
The future of the Helsinki shipyard has long been uncertain. The shipyard was owned by the South Korean firm STX, which sought to sell it in 2009. The game had hundreds of jobs.
STX sold the Russian OSK its 50% stake in the company. At a meeting in Moscow, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, and Mari Kiviniemi, the prime minister, signed the memorandum of understanding. (central). Arctech Helsinki Shipyard was the name of the shipyard.
At a meeting in Moscow in December 2010, Prime Ministers Mari Kiviniemi and Vladimir Putin inked a deal to transfer a 50% ownership stake in the Helsinki shipyard to the Russian shipbuilding firm OSK. The head of STX Finland, Juha Heikinheimo, the owner of the Helsinki shipyard at the time, and Su-Jou Kim, the board chairman, are pictured in front. Photo by IS/Arja Paananen
Russian government-owned shipyard OSK produces warships and submarines. When the shipyard in the middle of the capital was sold to a Russian company that makes warships and submarines, it shocked the political world.
No warships or submarines were to be built or maintained in Helsinki as a requirement of the deal. Additionally, OSK sought to acquire Aker Arctic, a company that specializes in the creation of icebreaking technologies. It was not sold, though.
Currently, the state investment firm Suomen Teollisuussijoitus owns 66 percent of the shares in Aker Arctic.
The shipyard belonged entirely to OSK in 2014. After Russia invaded Crimea in the same year, sanctions were put in place against this state-owned business. The shipyard was put in financial peril as a result of the sanctions. Algador Holdings, a business owned by Bagautdinov and Kasjanenko, purchased the shipyard in 2019.
Hietalahti’s shipbuilding facility was established in 1865. Russian finances are in a bind as a result of the sanctions imposed on them. Image by Outi Pyhäranta/HS
Mika Lintilä, the minister of labor and economy, is optimistic about the potential trade.
Shipbuilding has a lengthy history at Davisella. The company has been promoted to a highly important position in the Canadian government ship procurement process thanks to the company’s present management. In light of this, Davie is a reliable organization.
Minister Lintilä is clear that the state is not involved in any potential trades. The Helsinki shipyard does, however, hold significant industrial and political significance.
“The Helsingin shipyard’s arctic expertise is very important globally and must be maintained.”
Lintilä claims that the state did not guarantee Davie orders.
“I have indicated from the start that I support this potential deal because it will secure the best icebreaker expertise in the world and remove the eastern ownership of the shipyard. Of course, it is conceivable that the government may assist Davie in obtaining funding and in promoting growth efforts.
Given that Canada is a part of NATO and that icebreakers serve a defense purpose, may the intended transaction have aspects relating to foreign and security policy?
“It isn’t, but if you look hard enough, you might be able to locate such a viewpoint. In the past, Finland was the country where 80 percent of the world’s icebreakers were developed, but only 60 percent were ever constructed. I have conducted a few introductory sales trips to North America, so I am aware of the market for Finnish expertise.
Juhana Vartiainen, the cook and mayor of Helsinki, expresses his satisfaction with the Davie-designed store.
We consider this to be excellent news. Davie has extensive experience and a lengthy history in the shipbuilding sector. It also originates from a nation that has special value for us. The continuation of shipyard activities is supported by a sizable portion of Helsinki’s political establishment, and the lease with Davie for the shipyard site may be extended.
Correction 26.3. 7.55 a.m.: The shipyard’s location was changed from Hietalahti to Ruoholahti.