In October 2009, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) effectively sold most of its naval and commercial surface shipbuilding assets, via a “close strategic partnership” and Memorandum of Understanding with the Abu Dhabi MAR (ADM) group in the United Arab Emirates. The proposed sale followed related purchases in Germany by Abu Dhabi MAR, and other recent shipyard sales by TKMS. The net effect was a restructuring of Germany’s naval shipbuilding industry.
The envisioned agreement involved a 50/50 joint venture to build naval surface ships, with TKMS retaining a lead role and know-how in all projects with the German Navy and NATO partners, while ADM was responsible for the Middle East and North Africa. At the same time, however, Abu Dhabi MAR would acquiring 80% of TKMS’ key surface ship firms: Blohm + Voss Shipyards, Blohm + Voss Repair, and Blohm + Voss Industries. That deal has largely fallen through in 2011, leaving TKMS naval assets in play again.