Aker Moves Ahead as STX Europe

During the first week of September, Aker Yards’ new CEO, Mr. Torstein Dale Sjøtveit and Chairman of STX Business Group, Mr. Duk-Soo Kang, will visit Aker Yards’ facilities in Finland and France. They will also conduct meetings in Norway. The roundtrip follows STX’ move to become Aker Yards’ largest shareholder, controlling 92.4 percent of the shares.

As a consequence of STX being the principal owner, Aker Yards plans to change the name of the company to STX Europe during this autumn. The company has yards for construction of cruise ships and ferries in Finland and France, and yards for construction of advanced ships for the offshore oil and gas industry and other specialised vessels in Norway, Romania, Vietnam and Brazil. The group is a world leader within these segments, and the strategy going forward will be to develop and expand this position further in the global yard market.

“We have a solid track record of delivering the best ships within our part of the shipbuilding industry. We have a solid order backlog in most parts of our group. This gives us a strong foundation to develop the company further” says CEO Torstein Dale Sjøtveit “.

“Even if we see many new opportunities, our immediate focus is to deliver the orders that we already have, in line with schedules, agreed quality and budgets. We need to improve our own project execution to make sure that we avoid delays and cost increases that we have experienced on a few, but significant projects in the past. I am excited to have STX as an industrial owner, and I am confident that they will be able to contribute in this process. There are several synergies and areas for best practice sharing we can benefit from”, concludes Sjøtveit.

“We have made a significant investment in Aker Yards because we believe the already strong market position and technology holds a large potential. STX is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding and industry companies and we will as industrial owners contribute and actively support the further development and improvement of Aker Yards operations. I am also delighted to finally get to visit some of the yard facilities and not least meet and welcome employees and management into the STX Group. Together we must now focus on securing and developing the business so Aker Yards, or STX Europe, – can maintain their competitive edge and be a great place to work”. says Duk-Soo Kang, chairman of STX Business Group

STX Business Group. is one of South Korea’s leading industrial groups engaged in shipbuilding and engine manufacturing, shipping and logistics, and the energy and construction sectors. STX controls shipping and shipbuilding companies including STX Shipbuilding, STX Engine, STX Pan Ocean and STX Energy. STX Business Group recorded USD 17.0 billion in revenues in 2007 and expects revenues of USD 28 billion in 2008.

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