US private equity firm buys German shipyard

One Equity Partners has acquired Babcock Borsig’s 75 per cent stake in HDW Shipyard.

US private equity firm One Equity Partners has acquired a 75 per cent stake less one share in German shipyard Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW), the world's leading maker of non-nuclear submarines.

One Equity bought the shares from debt-laden engineering group Babcock Borsig, German tourism concern Preussag, and financial investor BayernFinanz. Babcock sold a 25 per cent stake out of its 50 per cent stake plus one share; Preussag sold its remaining 30 per cent stake; and BayernFinanz sold a 20 per cent stake less one share.

The purchase price was not disclosed but was likely to be in the region of E600m, according to industry insiders.

HDW rivals ThyssenKrupp Industries and Ferrostaal have been offered a 15 per cent stake each in HDW by One Equity. The terms of the deal agreed by One Equity stipulate that the US group cannot sell further shares in HDW for another two years, with German companies holding pre-emptive rights in the three years after that. For a further five years, German companies will also have pre-emptive tender rights.