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September 3, 2008

The STX-ing of Aker Yards gets rolling

South Korea's STX now controls 92.4 percent of the shares in Aker Yards ASA. What happens next?

Aker Yards ASA today held an extraordinary shareholder's meeting to wrap up various details consequent on its coming under the control of South Korea's STX. The meeting passed the necessary resolutions that will see the company's name changed to STX Europe and it elected Su-Jou Kim Chairman of the Board. It also elected to the board another STX representative in the person of Kwang-Gi Lo .

Both Mr. Kim and Mr. Lo have strong shipbuilding experience.

Su-Jou Kim (born in 1956) is CEO of STX Norway AS. Until 2007 Su-Jou Kim served as CEO of STX Enpaco. Prior to this, he was employed as Executive Vice President of STX Shipbuilding. Previously, Mr. Kim has worked 23 years in STX Engine. Mr. Kim has a degree in mechanical engineering from Seoul National University.

Kwang-Gi Lo (born in 1957) has been Managing Director for STX Corporation London office since 2007. From 2005 to 2006 Kwang-Gi Lo was Managing Director for STX Shipbuilding London office. Prior to this, he was responsible for Strategy, Planning and Purchasing in STX Shipbuilding in Korea. From 1983 to 2002, Lo was employed in STX Engine, with responsibility for engineering and sales. Mr. Lo holds a degree in engineering.

Meantime, Aker Yards' new CEO, Mr. Torstein Dale Sjøtveit and Chairman of STX Business Group, Mr. Duk-Soo Kang, are spending the first week of September visiting Aker Yards' facilities in Finland and France. They will also conduct meetings in Norway.

The company has yards for construction of cruise ships and ferries in Finland and France, and yards for construction of advanced ships for the offshore oil and gas industry and other specialized vessels in Norway, Romania, Vietnam and Brazil.

"We have a solid track record of delivering the best ships within our part of the shipbuilding industry. We have a solid order backlog in most parts of our group. This gives us a strong foundation to develop the company further" says Torstein Dale Sj&0slash;tveit ".

He says the immediate focus is to deliver the orders that the company already has, in line with schedules, agreed quality and budgets.

"We need to improve our own project execution to make sure that we avoid delays and cost increases that we have experienced on a few, but significant projects in the past," he said.

"We have made a significant investment in Aker Yards because we believe the already strong market position and technology holds a large potential," says Duk-Soo Kang. "STX is one of the world's largest shipbuilding and industry companies and we will as industrial owners contribute and actively support the further development and improvement of Aker Yards operations. I am also delighted to finally get to visit some of the yard facilities and not least meet and welcome employees and management into the STX Group. Together we must now focus on securing and developing the business so Aker Yards--or STX Europe-- can maintain their competitive edge and be a great place to work."


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