The United States Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Freedom (LCS-1), shown here before its launch, is a 115 m vessel that was built at the Manitowoc Marine Group facility in Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S.A
After rumors surfaced recently that The Manitowoc Co. Inc. was negotiating to sell its Marine Group, the company announced that it had agreed to sell the stock of its Marine segment to Fincantieri Marine Group Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA. Lockheed Martin Corp. has agreed to be a minority investor with Fincantieri in the acquisition.The transaction, which is subject to certain closing adjustments, is reportedly an all-cash deal that that is valued at approximately US$120 million and is anticipated to close at the end of 2008. The Boards of Directors of Fincantieri and Manitowoc have approved the terms of the agreement and it is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance from the U.S. antitrust authorities. It will also be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
Manitowoc Marine Group (MMG) is said to be one of the leading midsized shipbuilders in the United States for commercial and government customers, including the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. MMG consists of two shipyards — Marinette Marine Corp. located in Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S.A., and Bay Shipbuilding Company locacated in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin,and a topside repair yard in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. The company employs a workforce of nearly 1590, and in fiscal year 2007 generated revenues of approximately US$320 million, which are expected to increase in FY2008.
“This acquisition represents a significant step in pursuing the growth of Fincantieri and its naval business overseas, said Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri. “Further, we achieve a key milestone in the implementation of our business plan.” Fincantieri said it plans to invest in modernizing MMG’s facilities,thereby increasing efficiency and productivity — significantly benefiting MMG’s U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard customers, as well as the shipyards’ employees and the local communities where they live and work.
According to Fincantieri, the acquisition of MMG responds to the U.S. Navy’s expressed desires that U.S shipyards adopt best practices from leading international counterparts. With a proven record of delivering complex military and commercial ships, on time and on budget at a firm fixed price, Fincantieri will bring to the U.S. market its extensive expertise in modern ship design and construction methods, thus greatly enhancing the technological capability and production processes at the yards of MMG.
MMG recently began sea trials in Lake Michigan of its Littoral Combat Ship Freedom (LCS-1), which has already been christened and launched (see D>W, November 2006).The 115 m vessel was built by the MMG at its Marinette facility as part of the consortium led by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. “This will enhance the Littoral Combat Ship team’s ability to deliver high-quality and high-value ships to support the U.S. Navy’s critical mission,” said Fred P. Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems & Sensors business.
Glen E. Tellock, Manitowoc’s president and chief executive officer said that the transaction will allow the company to focus its financial assets and managerial resources on the growth ofits increasingly global crane and foodservice businesses. The company recently acquired Enodis plc, an international food service equipment producer.