Damen Group adds another French yard

19 Dec 2012
Arno Dunkerque – joins Sobrena in the Damen empire

Arno Dunkerque – joins Sobrena in the Damen empire

The Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group has announced that it has acquired another French shipyard, the Arno Dunkerque repair yard, the only repair and conversion facility in France’s third-largest port.

Damen says that Arno will continue its ship repair and conversion activities, with personnel and management remaining in place. Damen now has more than 45 yards and associated companies, including the former Sobrena in Brest which it bought earlier in 2012. The company adds that the latest acquisition fits perfectly in its long-term strategy of expanding its repair and conversion services.

According to Damen Shipyards CEO René Berkvens: “Arno brings added value to Damen as it is a modern shipyard with about 160 highly skilled workers. The presence of a significant industrial environment, consisting of nearby specialist subcontractors, is another reason. I would like to thank the port authorities and other stakeholders for their cooperative approach. The process leading up to today’s official signing ceremony was one in which the relevant parties showed mutual understanding of each other’s interests.”

The Dunkirk Port Authority and Arno management are very much in favour of the move – Arno Dunkerque spokesmen acknowledged that the yard had been through a difficult period, and looked forward to a better future. They said to The Motorship: “The acquisition of our company by Damen is considered as a positive step for the future of our yard and personnel, opening wider perspectives for the shiprepair and conversion market."

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