Meyer Werft continues on a European course

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Last year, we reinforced Meyer Werft and Neptun Werft by injecting a considerable capital increase into both companies and transferring all assets, investment goods and real estate away from Meyer Neptun GmbH, Rostock. As a result, Meyer Neptun GmbH is now purely a holding company and both sites have been significantly strengthened. The shares in Meyer Neptun GmbH, Rostock were transferred to Meyer Neptun GmbH Luxemburg, which in turn belongs to Neptun Indus-trie in Rostock (NIR).

Papenburg has meanwhile become the largest shipbuilding location in Europe, while Neptun Werft in Warnemünde is the largest supplier of river cruise craft. We will now be opening an office in Luxemburg this autumn, which will control central purchasing for Papenburg, Rostock and Turku. The main aim is to emphasise our international ori-entation, to enable us to prevail in the murderously competitive world market. This is not a tax-saving measure; our taxes will continue to be paid in Papenburg, Rostock and Turku, just as before.

Another effect of this business development is that the group will continue to operate with no board of directors. The last successful negotiations, which resulted in seven new orders, showed clearly that a board of directors would have had an extremely ob-structive effect and perhaps even hindered the ultimate success of the negotiations. One of the great benefits of our companies is their ability to make decisions quickly and flexibly. This would not be possible with a board of directors. In our case, if such a board of directors were in place, the majorities would be very clearly on the company side, and such a body would therefore offer no advantage to the employee side, unlike the present-day codetermination model. Moreover, the step currently being taken does not in any way curtail the codetermination rights that apply today. Meyer Werft has enjoyed 220 years of success without a board of directors and will continue to do so in the future.

On 15 January, the site continuation agreement was signed between the State of Lower Saxony, Meyer Weft, the IGM and the shipyard works council. The state has committed itself to ensuring that ships are able to exit Papenburg and that Meyer Werft receives the innovation aids admitted in Europe. Meyer Werft undertakes to maintain its site at Papenburg in the future and thus to guarantee 3,100 jobs. The IGM and the works council undertake to assist in maintaining the competitiveness of the site of Papenburg.

In the last four days, Meyer Werft has received orders for four large cruise ships, and is now at full capacity utilisation until 2020. It is only by virtue of the many innovations in design and prototype development that the shipyard has been successful with its orders. An intensive effort is currently being made to reactivate the small, covered dry dock for 2020. Despite tough competition from China, Neptun Werft was able to win an order for an 18,000-cbm LNG tanker. The shipyard in Turku, too, was able to win two large cruiser vessels for the Carneval Group.

Today there are more than 3,300 people employed at Meyer Werft, which is 200 more than the contractually guaranteed number. As a training site, Meyer Werft continues to be a forerunner, providing a larger volume of training than that actually agreed to. The company has therefore more than met its obligations set out in the site continuation agreement and continues to stand fully behind the sites of Papenburg and Warnemünde.

Our main task is now to meet the challenge of ensuring the sites' worldwide competi-tiveness in the future. Many measures and projects have already been initiated with the aim of realising this. The IGM and the works council have committed themselves in the site continuation agreement to giving the senior management their full support.