Kermas Energija, a subsidiary of Croatian business conglomerate Kermas Group, has won the bid to become the Uljanik Group's new strategic partner. Uljanik owns commercial shipyards in Pula and Split, and it is thought that the choice of Kermas Energija could bring more yacht-related business to its future workload.

Kermas Energija secured the new partnership in a three-way bidding challenge that included Croatia’s DIV Group and Asian Bond Ventures from Hong Kong. The selection process also involved discussions with trade unions. Among other companies that earlier expressed interest in Uljanik were the Palumbo Group of Italy and Damen Shipyards from the Netherlands.

A major restructuring of the Uljanik Group will follow and the full extent of these plans will now be completed. This plan will focus on reducing costs, which could mean the loss of an unspecified number of jobs. Gianni Rossanda, Uljanik Group president, previously said that over €450m would be needed to restructure the group, which he intimated would cover debts and restructuring costs.

The choice of Kermas Energija brings with it a prospect that yachts could be included more among the future workload of the Pula and Split shipyards. The group has a strong association with the Croatian yachting industry in that through its Real Estate division it operates and develops marinas. It also owns the Brodotrogir shipyard in Trogir, which in turns operates the Marina & Yacht Service Center.

Through Kermas Istria, a Kermas Group subsidiary, a new marina is being developed at St Katarina Island close to Pula. The facility will serve as a marina hub for the northern Adriatic. This company is also involved in developing Marina Trogir. When fully completed, the marina will have over 400 berths, including 25 to 30 for superyachts between 50m-100m (164ft-328ft) and a dry stack for 80 yachts up to 24m (78.5ft).

Brodotrogir’s facilities include two floating docks of 1,000 and 8,000 tonnes capacity respectively, and it has over the years undertaken work on a number of superyachts.