Finnish technology and engineering group Wärtsilä has expressed a possible interest in buying the Rolls-Royce commercial marine division, which, it was recently announced, is to go through a strategic review.
Wärtsilä supplies a wide range of equipment and systems to the global yacht market, including engines, propellers, waterjets, integrated bridge systems and safety and security systems to name a few.
The Rolls-Royce commercial marine division incorporates a number of yacht-related activities, including design and various systems. The strategic review, expected to take several months, will not include MTU, the world’s biggest supplier of engines to superyachts.
Commenting on a possible purchase, Wartsila president and CEO, Jaakko Eskola, said Wärtsilä would “need to look at what is available there and what is going to be their final plan. If we see an interesting player in the market, who would fit well into our strategy, we would definitely look at it.”
The two companies have held previous talks on joining forces in some areas but these came to nothing. It appears that the reasons for that failure may no longer be relevant.
The Rolls-Royce review of its commercial marine activities is part of a major restructuring of the group to strengthen its financial performance and concentrate on its core profitable areas of Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power.
As for Wartsila, 2017 saw the company experiencing a good year with its order intake increasing 15% to €5.64bn and net sales rose 3% to €4.92bn. “The year 2017 developed according to our expectations. Increased power plant deliveries supported some growth in net sales, while profitability was in line with the previous year, due in part to a positive business mix in the fourth quarter,” Eskola said.
“The favourable order trends seen throughout the year continued in the fourth quarter, providing us with a solid basis from which we can develop our business,” he added. “Looking ahead, I believe that developing smart technology and integrating new business models into our offering will be at the core of our long-term value creation, both for our shareholders and society at large. In terms of 2018, our demand outlook has improved somewhat.”