Reports: Fincantieri, Aker Yards discuss possible merger

Italy's Fincantieri and Norway's Aker Yards are in talks about a possible merger of the two shipbuilding companies in an attempt to prevent Aker's largest shareholder, Korea's STX Shipbuilding, from taking control of Aker, according to a Norwegian financial newspaper.

In late October, South Korea's STX Group purchased 39.2% of Aker' shares, an $800 million investment, making it the company's largest shareholder.

An Italian publication, meanwhile, has reported that Italian parliament member Maurizio Zipponi approved the proposed merger, and quoted Zipponi as saying that Korea's access to Aker could threaten Europe's -- and specifically Italy's -- shipbuilding industry in a matter of years.

Svein Sivertsen, Aker's chairman, said that Aker's board would "review the strategic alternatives available in order to maximize the value of Aker Yards."

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Johanna Jainchill at [email protected].

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