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French shipbuilders join forces

May 17, 2013 at 2:19 PM

CONCARNEU, France, May 17 (UPI) -- French naval shipbuilders Piriou and DCNS have started a joint venture to build government agency ships to civil standards.

The joint venture, for French and international markets, is Kership. Piriou holds 55 percent of the company while DCNS the remainder.

"The ambition of Piriou and DCNS is to develop a world leader in ships built to civil standards intended mainly for State action at sea (coast guard, policing, customs, etc.), making use of their complementing industrial capabilities, said Patrick de Leffe, head of Piriou. "Kership benefits from DCNS experience in naval defense markets and that of Piriou in vessels built to civil standards."

Under the joint venture agreement, Kership will have access to the industrial, logistic and engineering resources of its parent companies.

"The establishment of Kership is going to enable us to offer an attractive product range in the growth market of lightly-armed vessels built to civil standards," said Pierre Legros, DCNS Surface Naval Systems senior vice president.

"The sale of these ships intended for state action at sea will enable DCNS to develop relations with new customers likely to subsequently acquire more heavily armed vessels, such as corvettes or frigates.

"Kership thus provides a double growth opportunity for DCNS."

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