US shipbuilding company Philly Shipyard has sold to South Korea’s Hanwha in a deal worth $100m, following months of rumours about the sale. 

The share purchase agreement will see Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Ocean take on the entirety of Philly Shipyard Inc, the operating subsidiary of the Oslo-listed and Aker owned Philly Shipyard ASA. 

Kristian Røkke, chairman of Philly Shipyard ASA, said: “After two decades of stewardship, it is with great honour that we transition the ownership from Aker to Hanwha. 

“Recognized as a global leader, Hanwha brings a wealth of sophisticated shipbuilding experience that will enable Philly Shipyard to realize a grander vision for its employees and customers.” 

The deal, expected to close by the end of the year, continues Hanwha’s efforts to expand its business globally and will boost its hopes after a takeover bid for Australia’s Austal was rejected earlier this year. 

Philly Shipyard, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will particularly help boost Hanwha’s presence in the US, with Philly having produced half of the large ships built under the Jones Act since 2000. 

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Sung-Chul Eoh, CEO of Hanwha Systems, said: “The opportunity to collaborate with Philly Shipyard, a significant shipbuilder with a storied history, is an exciting strategic opportunity that will allow Hanwha Systems to deploy its state-of-the-art naval systems and associated technologies in the U.S. market.” 

Philly’s success with US shipping companies recently included a $1bn order from Matson for three Aloha Class LNG-powered container ships, which remain underway at the shipyard and will be taken on by Hanwha. 

According to the shipyard’s most recent financial results, its backlog of orders stands at $1.6bn with its furthest contractual delivery date landing in 2027.

As reported by our sister publication, Naval Technology, Philly Shipyard has a long history in partnership with the US Navy. The deal was welcomed by US Secretary of the Navy, Carlos del Toro, who said he “could not be more excited to welcome Hanwha as the first Korean shipbuilder to come to American shores.”

“This will bring good paying union jobs to Philadelphia, a city with a 250-year relationship with the US Navy. Knowing how they will change the competitive US shipbuilding landscape,” Del Toro added.