Boost for French shipbuilding

Equity management company Pechel has acquired a majority stake in SMM Composites, a French manufacturer of carbon and glass fiber composite molds and pieces for maritime applications and for wind and tidal turbine blades.

SMM has also partnered with shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique to develop its SolidSail/Aeoldrive system, which comprises a pivoting and tilting mast and a folding composite sail designed for ocean liners and sailing cargo ships. Pechel says that the system could reduce CO2 emissions by 40%.

“Our sector presents a lot of opportunities,” said Olivier Kerdoncuff, SMM president. “It was essential for us to have a partner who would help us take those and reach a new step of development.”

“We have been impressed by the unique know how of SMM in making innovative projects that have a real environmental impact,” added Sandra Pezet, partner at Pechel.