Abu Dhabi Mar, a shipbuilder based in the capital, is weighing an expansion of its European operations with the possible acquisition of a naval repair yard in eastern Germany.
The company has expressed an interest in buying P+S Werften, an insolvent German shipbuilder the portfolio of which includes the construction and repair of naval vessels.
"Our shareholder isn't ruling out expanding its business in Germany," said Susanne Wiegand, the managing director of Nobiskrug, a German shipbuilding firm owned by Abu Dhabi Mar.
"We have registered our interest in principle as Abu Dhabi Mar. I say in principle because we have no information at present and would like to take a look at the shipyard to decide if we have an interest and whether to pursue things further."
P+S has two sites in the Baltic ports of Wolgast and Stralsund and builds seagoing, coastal and inland-water vessels. Its range includes specialised ships such as ferries, tugs, heavy-cargo vessels and dredgers.
The company filed for insolvency last week after Scandlines, a Baltic shipping line, refused to pay the final instalment for a ferry it had ordered after the vessel turned out to be 200 tonnes too heavy, which may have given it too much draught for the shipping route it had been intended for.
That deprived P+S of vital funds and left it unable to service liabilities exceeding €500 million (Dh2.34 billion), not including debts to smaller creditors such as parts suppliers.
An administrator has been appointed to oversee the firm pending talks with creditors, customers and potential buyers.
The biggest part of P+S, the Stralsund shipyard, used to be one of the most important export businesses of communist East Germany, producing vessels for the Soviet Union.
P+S says it has orders on its books to keep it busy for several years but it had been running short of funds to carry on its work.
The EU Commission in July approved a German government loan guarantee totalling €152.4m.
The insolvency is a major blow to the north-eastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which has little industry and struggled to adapt its economy in the upheaval following German unification.
Ms Wiegand said it was too soon to say if Abu Dhabi Mar would be interested in acquiring all or part of the company.
"There are two shipyard sites with different products and capabilities. One is focused more on repairs and on naval vessels, the other deals more with commercial ships. We need to take a look at it to decide if we see an opportunity and can develop a concept," she said.
She added there might be synergies between Nobiskrug and P+S in terms of refit and repairs. "We also have a military portfolio so there might be scope there, too."
Nobiskrug, based in Rendsburg, northern Germany, specialises in building luxury yachts, offshore platforms and naval vessels.
Abu Dhabi Mar isn't the only potential buyer. Tamsen Maritim, a shipyard in the north-eastern German port of Rostock, is reported to be interested in the naval operations in Wolgast. The Lürssen group, a naval shipbuilder based in Bremen, is also seen as a possible buyer, as is the Russian investor Vitaly Yusufov, who bought another insolvent eastern shipyard three years ago and refocused it on providing equipment for offshore wind farms.
The German chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a particular interest in the fate of P+S because her electoral constituency is in Stralsund. She visited the shipyard last month and said the government had done all it could to help the company.