Croatia’s Uljanik selects local peer Brodosplit as strategic partner

Croatia’s Uljanik selects local peer Brodosplit as strategic partner
By Carmen Simion in Bucharest February 7, 2019

Troubled Croatian Uljanik shipbuilding company said on February 7 it has selected local shipyard Brodosplit as strategic partner.

Uljanik, which owns the Uljanik shipyard in Pula and the 3. Maj shipyard in Rijeka, is in severe financial difficulties and needs a strategic partner. The shipbuilder has already lost several vessel construction deals and has seen its bank accounts frozen several times, while its employees went on strike due to unpaid wages.

Uljanik will sign a contract with the selected strategic partner on regulation of mutual rights and obligations with the emphasis on the obligations of the strategic partner to prepare an acceptable and realizable restructuring programme, Uljanik said in a statement filed with the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

Brodosplit will be enabled, with additional capitalisation, to enter the ownership structure of Uljanik.

In March, Uljanik chose Kermas Energija as strategic partner in its recapitalisation process. However, in December, Uljanik's supervisory board decided to revoke the decision and start the procedure to select of a new strategic partner.

Uljanik announced on January 28 it received offers from potential investors, but did not give any details on their names or the size of the offers.

Uljanik started out back in 1856 as the main naval base of the Austro-Hungarian empire, building and repairing warships. Rebuilt after the Second World War, it started building giant tankers and other very large ships in the 1960s, later specialising in car carriers as well. Since the beginning of the 21st it has entered new niches including complex newbuildings. The region’s second biggest shipyard, the 3 Maj shipyard in Rijeka was integrated into Uljanik group in 2013.