Helsinki Shipyard is swallowed up by Davie Shipyard from Canada

Caption: Die Helsinki Shipyard (© Davie)

The Canadian shipyard Davie is taking over Helsinki Shipyard in Finland. Together they want to strengthen their commitment to shipbuilding for Arctic projects.

Davie has now announced that it has completed the acquisition of the assets of the Finnish Helsinki Shipyard Oy (HSO)[ds_preview].

Among other things, the Canadians are active in the Canadian government’s extensive fleet modernization program. Davie is part of the Inocea group of companies. This includes Davie Shipbuilding, Canada’s largest shipbuilder and partner in the country’s national shipbuilding strategy, and now also the Finnish shipyard in Helsinki, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of icebreakers and ice-class vessels. Most recently, the shipyard was involved in the construction of new cruise ships, among other things, which posed challenges due to sanctions against Russia.

“Together, the companies design, build and maintain mission-critical vessels such as icebreakers, warships and ferries for government and commercial customers,” reads a statement. The future focus will also explicitly include export opportunities for specialty vessels.

Davie calls the takeover a “historic transaction”. While the Canadian and Finnish shipyards will remain legally and operationally separate, the company’s headquarters will remain in Québec.

Davie secures government support

The details of the agreement were not disclosed. However, Davie pointed out that the transaction was “made possible by a combination of Davie’s own funds and €77 million in financing from the Québec government”, consisting of an equity investment of €30 million and a loan of €47 million.

A significant portion of the funds will be used to ensure that the shipyard has working capital as it ramps up operations and acquires new orders.
“Importantly, the Canadian government has looked favorably on the potential synergies arising from the transaction for the construction of icebreakers as part of the national shipbuilding strategy.”

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

James Davies, President and CEO of Davie and co-owner, said: “We are delighted to be bringing together two historic and highly complementary businesses. This would not have been possible without the support of Québec, the City of Helsinki, Finland and Canada. We are confident that our talented people and world-class supply chain will quickly create a world-leading center of excellence for environmentally friendly Arctic shipbuilding and other specialty products.” Strengthened by the Helsinki shipyard’s expertise, Québec can also more efficiently fulfill Canada’s order book for polar icebreakers, which is the largest in the western world.

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec’s Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, emphasized that the acquisition puts the Davie Group in a good position to secure contracts around the world. “This is a win-win transaction for both sides of the ocean.” Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman said that thanks to the new owner, “the future of the shipyard and the entire Finnish shipping industry looks brighter”.

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