UPDATE 1-Greece approves shipyard sale to Abu Dhabi MAR

Mon Mar 1, 2010 12:39pm GMT

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* Greece approves Abu Dhabi MAR's offer for HSY shipyards

* Abu Dhabi Mar to hold 75.1 of Thyssen's Greek unit HSY

* ThyssenKrupp to hold 24.9 pct of total capital share

(Adds details, background)

By Renee Maltezou ATHENS, March 1 (Reuters) - Greece has approved the proposed sale of a majority stake in ThyssenKrupp's (TKAG.DE) Hellenic Shipyards (HSY), handing control of the eastern Mediterranean's largest shipyard to Abu Dhabi MAR Group (ADM).

The German steelmaker decided last year to sell HSY after accusing the Greek government of breaking its contractual obligations and missing payments on a deal to build four submarines for the Greek navy. [nLL34209]

"The new joint scheme will be led by ADM which will hold 75.1 percent of the share capital of Skaramanga shipyard (HSY), with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems participating with 24.9 percent," the government said in a statement on Monday.

ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE), which fully acquired HSY in 2005, picked Abu Dhabi MAR in January as the preferred bidder for a majority stake in its indebted Greek shipbuilding unit. The deal will add to Abu Dhabi MAR's existing shipyards in France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

The government did not disclose financial details of the deal but Thyssen has said in the past that the shipyards, which depend on Greek navy orders, would be sold at the price of one euro. [nWEA3321]

ThyssenKrupp received a total five bids for HSY, but found only Abu Dhabi MAR's to be acceptable.[ID:LDE5BH10Q].

Greece's new socialist government, which won an Oct. 4 snap election, has pledged to protect approximately 1,300 jobs at HSY. ThyssenKrupp and Abu Dhabi MAR last year agreed a long-term strategic partnership to build naval ships and large yachts. [nLF620941]

(Additional reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Paul Hoskins)

((renee.maltezou@reuters.com; +30 210 3376439, Reuters Messaging:renee.maltezou.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GREECE/SHIPYARDS

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