Eastern European Markets
June, 6th, 2007

BLRT Group acquired the Finnish ship repair company Turku Repair Yard

The BLRT Group, one of the largest industrial enterprises in the Baltic states, concluded a contract of purchase for the Finnish ship repair company Turku Repair Yard Ltd., which owns the largest dry dock in the Baltic Sea region. This factory, founded in Finland in 1989, has the facilities for repairing any vessel navigating the Baltic Sea. The dry dock is 265 metres long and 70 metres wide.

The group’s existing ship repair subsidiaries in Tallinn and Klaipeda repair 165 and 130 vessels per year respectively. The Turku Repair Yard repairs approximately 80 - 100 ships annually and possesses a competitive edge: the high quality of its work coupled with short deadlines and the logistically suitable location. The main clients include Neste, Tallink, Silja and Viking Lines and the ice-breakers owned by the Finnish state.

According to Fjodor Berman, Chairman of the Board of the BLRT Group, the purchase of the Finnish enterprise will elevate the BLRT Group among the elite of ship-repairing companies worldwide. The acquisition of the Turku Repair Yard will also facilitate increased efficiency in a logistical context.

“I believe that Finland’s ship repair specialists are one of the best in the world. In addition to extending the range of physical possibilities for repairing ships, we will also raise the level of our know-how and quality. The range of services will increase as well.” Speaking about development perspectives, Berman said that the next step will be that of developing the ship repair service, with a group of specialists travelling to a vessel in need of repairs at any location worldwide and offering services on the go, without directing the vessel into a repair dock. This will save time and money.

The confidentiality contract covering the transaction cost was also concluded with the previous Finnish owners of the enterprise. The annual turnover of the Turku Repair Yard is approximately 300 million Estonian kroons. The enterprise enjoys moderate profits. The previous owners explain that they selected the BLRT Group from the six interested companies because it is a strategic investor who has a proven track record, building up the enterprise in Klaipeda and creating synergy between Tallinn and Klaipeda, with the parties involved complementing one another and gaining as much as possible from their cooperation. No staff changes are planned.

In August 2001 the BLRT Group purchased the Vakaru Laivu Remontas company in Lithuania. By today the BLRT Group has invested around one billion kroons in the enterprise and it is operating at a profit thanks to restructuring the company and diversifying its products and services. The BLRT Group’s main areas of activity are: shipbuilding, ship repairs, manufacture of metal structures, sale of metals, port and stevedore services, mechanical engineering, old metal processing and car transport services. The BLRT Group consists of 64 subsidiaries in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Finland and Russia.

The BLRT Group is based on Estonian capital and has created around 2000 jobs locally. The subsidiaries in other countries also have around 1600 employees.

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