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Fincantieri reaches out for TKMS

The Italian shipyard group Fincantieri apparently wants to acquire a stake in the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyard, which is up for sale.

CEO Pierroberto Folgiero recently presented corresponding ideas to representatives of the German government, according to industry sources quoted by Handelsblatt. The aim is to create a European champion.

However, the Italians had previously met with rejection from the parent company ThyssenKrupp. The Essen-based group is currently negotiating with the US financial investor Carlyle about a stake in TKMS. The German government is also examining participation in order to keep the know-how of the submarine and frigate builder in the country.

Federal government wants to secure influence at TKMS

Over the past 20 years, ThyssenKrupp has made a number of attempts to divest itself of the shipyard subsidiary. The German government’s concerns regarding national security were a reason against a sale to the French Naval Group, as the government feared an outflow of technology and jobs to France.

Against this backdrop, the German government is to join Carlyle, whose participation would be sufficient security for the state customers. Talks are still ongoing. However, according to industry circles, it looks good that these plans could be realised. Carlyle would take a majority stake, and the federal government 25.1%, with the remainder initially remaining with ThyssenKrupp.

The TKMS shipyard in Kiel employs around 3,200 people, with a further 10,000 working in the supply industry in federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Orders from Germany and abroad mean that the shipyard will be working at full capacity until 2034.

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Copyright: Axel Heimken/ TKMS / Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

Caption: The "Inimitable" at her christening in Kiel (© TKMS / Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems)