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Bremen-based Lürssen takes over Blohm + Voss

Dockyard in Hamburg changing hands. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, sees opportunity for maritime location

The Bremen-based Lürssen Group is purchasing Hamburg’s Blohm + Voss dockyard for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced Wednesday (September 28th). The new owner’s plans are as yet unknown. Experts expect the company to continue using the Blohm + Voss name. The take-over is subject to approval by cartel authorities.

Opportunity for maritime industry

Commenting on the take-over, Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “Lürssen’s take-over of Blohm + Voss is a big chance for the maritime location of Hamburg. The shipyard is being put on a solid foundation for the future. It allows Blohm + Voss to gain new clients and to secure long-term employment in Hamburg. It has always been very important to me to keep Blohm + Voss in Hamburg. That can only be done with a reliable, strategic partner with expertise like that of the Lürssen shipyard.”

Horch added: “Blohm + Voss is not only a traditional dockyard, but a key component of shipbuilding throughout Germany. I have taken the opportunity to rally for this solution and to keep the dockyard here. The sale to Lürssen gives Blohm + Voss and shipbuilding in Hamburg a perspective for the future.”

Pending approval

The take-over is part of Lürssen’s long-term goal of boosting repair and refit work for yachts, marine and commercial ships and to round off new business involving marine ships within the group, according to a statement Wednesday. The purchase agreement with the present owner, the British private equity funds Star Capital Partners, was reached last weekend. The approval of cartel authorities is pending.

Details of production in Hamburg undisclosed

Peter Lürßen, Managing Associate of Lürssen Maritime Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG, said: “We are taking over one of the most versatile facilities at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in a favourable location. We wish to use it in future to round off our current repair and refit works and to offer our customers even better services. We also wish to use the skills and experience at the dockyard to build new complex, marine ships and to continue their production in Hamburg. Whether the production of yachts continues there depends mainly on the market development and cannot be answered at the moment.”

The purchase of Blohm + Voss brings the number of Lürssen-owned shipyards to six with around 2,800 employees in all north German coastal states. The purchase price has not been disclosed. Star Capital Partners had bought the shipyard in December 2011 from ThyssenKrupp.

Talks with employees

Lürßen stressed: “Talks with employees on the required steps now take priority and on how to use the shipyard’s individual features efficiently and to ensure the hitherto balance between our locations in future and how we shipbuilders can close ranks and master these difficult times.”

Founded in 1875 as a family company, Lürssen is based in Bremen-Vegesack and specialises in constructing and finishing 60-metre long yachts, marine ships and coastguard vessels. The civil and military new business is flanked by extensive services in the after-sales sector including repairs, refits, maintenance and global logistic services.

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