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October 15, 2009

Abu Dhabi MAR to take majority stake in Blohm + Voss

Abu Dhabi based mega yacht builder Abu Dhabi MAR will acquire an 80% stake in Germany's Blohm + Voss Shipyards, Blohm + Voss Repair, and Blohm + Voss Industries.

Blohm + Voss parent ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Abu Dhabi MAR Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a "close strategic partnership" that involves the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture for the construction of naval surface ships.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems says it will retain a lead role and the know-how in all projects for the German Navy and NATO partners. Abu Dhabi MAR Group will be responsible for the Middle East/ North Africa region.

ThyssenKrupp says the planned joint venture will significantly improve marketing opportunities for the Blohm + Voss naval shipbuilding program (frigates and corvettes) and thus at the same time safeguard shipbuilding jobs in Germany.

According to Thyssen Krupp, the acquisition of an 80% stake in each of the three Blohm + Voss companies "will allow Abu Dhabi MAR Group to move into the mega-yachts, repairs and ships' components businesses." In the mega-yacht sector, "this opens up good prospects for expanding the clientele for this exclusive product."

Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, Chairman of the Management Board of the Marine Systems business area of ThyssenKrupp AG, says: "The partnership with Abu Dhabi MAR Group represents a solid foundation for the future of the shipyard. It will enable us to win new customers and create and expand employment at the Hamburg site over the long term. ThyssenKrupp is thus strengthening shipbuilding in Germany."

All parties will now hold further talks and negotiations on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding. The transaction is subject to the approval of the supervisory bodies and the regulatory authorities. For the naval area, the transaction is subject to disclosure requirements under the German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG).

Abu Dhabi MAR Group, a holding company based in Abu Dhabi, is an international, fast growing shipbuilding group. The group has the capacity of building civilian ships up to 200 meters as well as military and commercial vessels. The group is jointly owned by Al Ain International Group (70%) and Privinvest (30%). Mr. Iskandar Safa is the Managing Director of Abu Dhabi MAR Group. Abu Dhabi MAR GroupÕs order book exceeds today 1 billion Euros. The shipbuilding group employs 2,000 people globally, of which 250 are designers .

Earlier this year it acquired Werft Nobiskrug from ThyssenKrupp.

Last month ThyssenKrupp sold its Nordseewerke shipyard in Emden to a wind turbine manufacturer.


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