Russian-owned Helsinki shipyard looks for new investor as sanctions bite
Russian state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is looking for a new owner for its Arctech Helsinki shipyard as sanctions against the holding company hamper business, the head of the shipyard said on Tuesday.
The shipyard is the world’s biggest builder of vessels that can navigate ice-covered waters, and it has expected more orders as melting sea ice opens the Arctic to more shipping, mining and oil drilling.
However, following the Ukraine crisis and back-to-back East-West sanctions, Russian ownership has complicated the shipyard’s access to finance.
Arctech Managing Director Esko Mustamaki told Reuters USC was looking to sell a majority stake in the shipyard to an industrial buyer from the West.
“I don’t want to comment on the reasons, that is up to the owner, but it is clear that sanctions are a big problem for us,” he said by telephone.
“All issues regarding finance and insurance have been challenging.”
Business daily Kauppalehti earlier on Tuesday quoted USC executive Evgeny Zagorodniy as saying the company was trying to find new partners due to sanctions and it had discussed the situation with the Finnish government.
A USC spokeswoman declined immediate comment.
The shipyard was once owned by Norway’s Kvaerner and Aker Yards, and later by South Korea’s STX, whose financial problems eventually prompted the deal with Russia, completed in 2014.