France's DCN in merger talks with Thales

26th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

FRANKFURT, July 26 (AFP) - French state-owned shipyard Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) is in talks with military electronics group Thales over a partial merger of their naval business, DCN chief executive Jean-Marie Poimboeuf revealed in a newspaper interview on Monday.

FRANKFURT, July 26 (AFP) - French state-owned shipyard Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) is in talks with military electronics group Thales over a partial merger of their naval business, DCN chief executive Jean-Marie Poimboeuf revealed in a newspaper interview on Monday.

"We want to create a company, which will encompass the ship building activities of DCN as well as a part of Thales Naval without the armaments business," Poimboeuf told the business daily Handelsblatt.

"The details are still being discussed, but we want to address the tie-up this autumn, so that the new company will be up and running in a year's time," he said.

Poimboeuf said he wanted to leave open the issue of which company would hold the majority stake in the merger, but said the newly formed entity would have about 5,000 workers, and sales of EUR 1.5 billion (USD 1.8 billion).

"It will be an integrated company, which will unite all important functions: marketing, business development, the engineering, development as well as the manufacturing of boats," Poimboeuf said.

DCN was not only interested in a domestic tie-up with Thales, but was also setting its sights on a larger cooperation that would lead to the creation of European shipbuilding giant, along similar lines to EADS in the aerospace sector, the chairman continued.

To this end, DCN was talking with German shipbuilders ThyssenKrupp and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW).

"We already had very interesting discussions with ThyssenKrupp and HDW, but also with Thales. We are agreed how a naval version of EADS should function. It should be an integrated company, including development, export, marketing, purchasing, and industrial policy. And it should offer a standard range of products," Poimboeuf said.

Poimboeuf added Italian firms Finmeccanica and Fincantieri, and Spanish gropu Izar could also take part in the tie-up.

HDW, a unit of One Equity Partners, and ThyssenKrupp unveiled their own shipyard merger in mid-May.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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