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Buying the world’s best icebreaker builders

The workers of the Arctech company are now owned by Russia's state shipbuilding company

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation is buying the Finnish Arctech Yard, one of the world’s leading builders of icebreaking vessels.

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With the acquisition of the Finnish Helsinki-based yard, the Russian company gets full control over the company, which has built close to 60 percent of all the icebreaking vessels in the world.

The Shipbuilding Corporation from before owned a 50 percent stake in the company, Yle reports. The seller of the shares is the Korean STX company. The price for the acquisition ”does not exceed €20 million”, newspaper Kommersant reports.

Paradoxically, the deal comes as the Shipbuilding Corporation is seriously losing ground in Russia. As previously reported, the company will be deprived several key shipyards, among them the Zvezda Yard in the Russia Far East, following its alleged inability to efficiently modernize the Russian shipbuilding industry.

With the 100 percent takeover of the Finnish yard, the Russian company might be ble to compensate for some of its lost assets in Russia.

However, the takeover could also create a series of additional problems for the company. The Finnish yard struggles with serious economic difficulties and reportedly stands on the verge of bankrupcty.

According to Aleksey Kravchenko, Head of Communications in the Shipbuilding Corporation, the financial situation of the yard is not a major concern. He is confident that the 100 percent takeover of the yard will make it easier to secure construction orders from Russian businesses and governmental agencies, Yle reports.

The United Shipbuilding Corporation was established by Russian presidential decree in 2007 in a bid to boost Russian shipbuilding capacities. The company quickly took over a series of state-owned assets, but soon proved unable to meet the government’s modernization goals. Among the company’s 59 assets are the Sevmash and Zvezdochka yards in Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Nerpa, as well as the 35th and 82nd Yards in Murmansk.