State acquires majority holding in Aker Arctic

Investments in companies - 17.12.2013


The government-owned investment company Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. has acquired a majority holding (66.4 per cent of the shares) in Aker Arctic Technology (Aker Arctic).

Aker Arctic is the world's leading planning company for marine logistics, offshore industry solutions and vessels in the Arctic regions. The company's other owners, with holdings of equal size, are Finnish ABB and the Norwegian company Aker Engineering and Technology AS.

The sales price for the shares was EUR 9.3 million. The acquisition is being carried out under commercial terms, based on an evaluation conducted by an outside expert. In the same connection the minority holders are expanding their holdings in Aker Arctic under the same terms.

"Arctic shipping is expected to increase considerably in the coming years and decades. As the world's leading planning company in the development of Arctic solutions, Aker Arctic is well placed to acquire a significant market share in the field. This will naturally also have a positive impact on the company's long-term value. For this reason I see the deal as being a success from the state’s point of view," notes Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori.

In recent months the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has actively assessed the possibilities of making sure that the company's expertise stays and develops further in Finland.

"The state has a special interest in making sure that Aker Arctic, which represents important Arctic expertise, should have an ownership base which holds on to its unique skills and is open to future development. In addition to the commercial applications that are globally in use, the company's skills can be utilised to assist the Finnish Defence Forces. The skills in the company and its utilisation are in a central role when the proposals of the Marine Industry 2020 working group are implemented," Vapaavuori says.

Aker Arctic has amassed Finland's most important knowledge and skill base in the marine industry. The company has created numerous successful vessel concepts for Arctic navigation, including the world's first so-called oblique icebreaker concept, which is currently being built at the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Aker Arctic is also involved in the planning of new polar icebreakers for Canada and China.

On the global scale the development and utilisation of top-class Arctic expertise is important for Finland for a number of reasons, including the development of business activities and issues of maintenance support performance. Aker Arctic is seen to have promising prospects in its operations in areas including the opening of the Northeast Passage.

"The company's activities also strengthen Finland's marine industry cluster and its future prospects in a broader sense with strong and competitive special areas of expertise. From the point of view of preserving Finnish Arctic and marine industry expertise, it is important that the top-level expertise in Aker Arctic and its successful business contacts on the international market should remain within the sphere of Finnish research and product development," Minister Vapaavuori says.

 

For further information, please contact:

Pete Pokkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 40 756 7180

Juha Marjosola, President & CEO, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. tel. +358 9 6803 6811

Mikko Niini, Managing Director, Aker Arctic, tel. +358 400 322 747

Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is a government-owned investment company. We promote Finnish business, employment, and economic growth through venture capital and private equity investments. The company invests in Finnish companies, both directly and through private equity funds. We invest in rapid growth, internationalisation, spin-offs, major industrial investments, as well as sectoral, corporate and ownership restructurings.

Aker Arctic Technology Inc. (Aker Arctic) was founded on 30 December 2004 and specialises in planning and technical consultation for the building of icebreakers and other types of ships used in the Arctic regions. The company employs about 40 people and its turnover is about EUR 6 million. Aker Arctic continues the activities that have become known in the shipbuilding field through Wärtsilä Ice Model Basin (WIMB, 1969), Wärtsilä Arctic Research Centre (WARC, 1983) and Kvaerner Masa-Yards Arctic Technology Centre (MARC, 1989).

In 2006 the company's new model testing facility was introduced in Vuosaari in Helsinki. The facility allows the testing of icebreakers, cargo ships, and structures to be placed at sea in areas covered by ice. The facility can also be used for various research and development projects. In addition to testing with models, the company offers its clients consultation and ship design services, and conducts voyages for exploration and measurement. It also offers training for activities in sea areas affected by ice.

The company's customers on the global level include shipbuilders, oil and gas companies, shipyards, and ship designers. The references of the planning of Aker Arctic include more than 60 icebreakers that have been built, and several dozen ice-breaking cargo vessels which have been built. In addition it has conducted numerous model tests for its customers, as well as tasks involving consultation and development.