Italy has confirmed its interest in buying a stake in struggling shipyard STX France in Saint Nazzaire, French daily Le Figaro writes citing French Finance Minister Michel Sapin.
The option was discussed during a meeting between Sapin and Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome last week.
The shipyard has been put up for sale for almost a year now and the buyer is yet to be identified.
Sapin did not disclose the name of the local Italian group that might be interested in the acquisition. However, media rumors on potential acquisition of the yard by Italian cruise shipbuilder Fincantieri have been in circulation for several months now.
Nevertheless, the information has never been officially confirmed as the company’s CEO Giuseppe Bono declined to comment on the matter while speaking on the group’s expansion plans last month.
Should the acquisition by the Italian shipbuilder be set in motion it is questionable whether the takeover would be approved by the regulators, as it would set the stage for Fincantieri and Meyer Verft to dominate the market.
The STX shipyard in France is 20% owned by the French state, the rest, 66.6%, is owned by its parent company STX Offshore from Korea.
World Maritime News Staff