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Published: 6 March 2009
New management at J J Sietas
Management of J J Sietas, the Hamburg-based shipbuilder, has passed out of the hands of the Sietas family for the first time since the company was founded in 1653
For more than 360 years a member of the Sietas family has run the show at the company. However, faced with a very difficult financial position, Hinrich J Sietas has had to hand over the management to Rüdiger Wolf and Rüdiger Fuchs.
They will try to rescue the yard from insolvency and HSH Nordbank will provide financial support. Fuchs is a former Airbus manager and plans to develop new ships types and cut delivery times.
During the summer of 2008 J J Seitas’ had an order book worth more than €1B, but some big orders were cancelled – notably a new series for SAL to be equipped with 1000t deck cranes – and the current order book stands at around €375M.
It is possible that Sietas has been hit by problems in the German KG ship financing systems and the shortage of credit available to ship investors.
One to watch out for is whether the new management try to dispose of Sietas’ NMF crane affiliate. NMF has electro-hydraulic deck cranes of up to 1000t in its range and could be attractive to other deck crane manufacturers such as MacGregor or Liebherr, or possibly even Huisman-Itrec as it would then be able to extend its shipboard crane range.
Meanwhile the situation of the shipyards in Wismar and Rostock has improved. The federal government has given a guarantee for €180M credit for them. Wadan shipyard is now able to complete its orders, solicit new busness, particularly from the Russian market, and develop new business fields, said Jürgen Seidel, minister for economics of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.