Posted on November 15, 2023
Davie Shipbuilding, Canada’s largest shipbuilder and partner in the country’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, has successfully completed the acquisition of assets belonging to Finland’s Helsinki Shipyard Oy, the world’s leading builder of icebreakers and ice-class ships.
The transaction brings together the expertise and capabilities of two leaders in Arctic shipbuilding.
“We are delighted to bring two historic and highly complementary businesses together,” said James Davies, Davie President and CEO.
While both shipyards will remain separate legal entities, the business headquarters will be based in Québec. The acquisition is expected to generate new opportunities for employees, foster collaboration, facilitate knowledge transfer, provide access to resources, and stimulate export potential.
While details of the business purchase agreement remain confidential, Davie said the transaction was made possible through its own funds and CAD $110 million of financing from the Québec government, which includes an equity investment of $43 million and a loan of $67 million. A significant portion of the funds will be allocated to ensure the shipyard has sufficient working capital to secure new business and operate effectively.
The Canadian government has expressed its support for the synergies from the combination, particularly in regards to the construction of icebreakers under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Established in 1825, Davie is a leading Canadian shipbuilder and maintainer of specialized, mission-critical vessels, including icebreakers, warships, and ferries, catering to both the government and commercial sectors. Davie this past April reached an agreement with the Canadian government to become the third strategic shipbuilding partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy. They will focus on non-combat vessels and are set to construct icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard, ferries for Transport Canada, and provide maintenance for Canada’s patrol frigates.
Helsinki Shipyard Oy has a long-standing history of expertise in constructing specialized vessels particularly suited for navigating demanding Arctic conditions, including icebreakers, research vessels, and passenger ships.
By joining forces, Davie and Helsinki Shipyard will provide critical expertise to government and commercial customers. The two began combination talks in December 2022. In March 2023, Davie exercised an exclusive option to purchase the assets of Helsinki Shipyard, followed by the signing of a business purchase agreement this past April. In July, Davie secured a new 50-year land lease from the City of Helsinki.
“This is the best possible news for Helsinki shipyard, our talented workforce and our supply chain,” said Kim Salmi, Managing Director, Helsinki shipyard. “After months of planning, our top priority is to rapidly return this business to what it does best – designing and building world-class ships quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.”
Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is a long-term initiative launched by the Canadian government in 2011 to renew and modernize the country’s naval and coast guard fleets, as well as to revitalize the domestic shipbuilding industry. The strategy is structured around combat (including icebreakers, offshore science vessels, and support ships) and non-combat vessels (such as frigates and Arctic offshore patrol ships).