German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp said on Monday it is in talks with Saab of Sweden over the sale of its Swedish shipywards business.
The operations, formerly known as Kockums, employ a workforce of about 900 people and the aim of the talks was to safeguard those jobs and retain activities in Sweden, ThyssenKrupp said.
"ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp, and Saab have signed a memorandum of understanding about a sale of Swedish Shipyard ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems," the German group said in a statement.
"The negotiations are at an early stage.
"Both parties agree that during the negotiation phase, the integrity and the operating ability of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have to be safeguarded. Any transaction would be subject to regulatory approval," the statement said.
The talks were respecting the Swedish government's preference for national naval shipbuilding programmes, the statement said.
"ThyssenKrupp offers a constructive solution, which would secure the industrial structures in Sweden and the high skilled jobs of the roughly 900 employees at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems," it said.
ThyssenKrupp said it was focusing on its profitable naval shipbuilding activities in Kiel, Hamburg, and Emden.
"These activities have a high order backlog which secures workload and employment until 2020," the statement said.