ThyssenKrupp, Abu Dhabi MAR Group Ink Ship Deal

Shipbuilder said Thursday it plans to form 50-50 joint venture with Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG to design and make naval frigates and offshore patrol vessels.

FRANKFURT (AP) -- Shipbuilder Abu Dhabi MAR Group said Thursday that it plans to form a joint venture with Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG to design and make naval frigates and offshore patrol vessels.

MAR Group said the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on the 50-50 joint venture, to be called Blohm+Voss Naval.

The deal will also give MAR Group an 80 percent stake in the yacht business of ThyssenKrupp's Hamburg-based Blohm + Voss Shipyards, Blohm + Voss Ship Repair and Blohm +Voss Industries units.

The MAR Group, which builds civilian and military vessels, did not provide financial details or say when the new joint company could begin production. Duesseldorf-based ThyssenKrupp is Germany's largest steelmaker.

MAR Group's mega-yacht business includes converting two Dutch-built warships into 465-foot (153-meter) and 445-foot (146-meter) private yachts.

"The joint shipbuilding group will capitalize on our combined expertise and the commitment to deliver the highest technological standards for our future customers," MAR chief executive Ahmad Darwish Al Marar said in a statement.

In July, MAR acquired the majority of Nobiskrug Shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany. It also holds a stake in CMN, a shipbuilder in Cherbourg, France.

Shares of ThyssenKrupp were more than 0.3 percent higher at euro25.45 ($38) in Frankfurt trading.

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