STX France: a shared ownership but Italy’s Fincantieri takes the helm

The deal reportedly satisfies Fincantieri's demand for 51% control of STX France but gives France the right to take back 1% if industrial and employment commitments aren't met. Symphony of the Seas is pictured in the dock at Saint-Nazaire prior to its float-out in June The deal reportedly satisfies Fincantieri's demand for 51% control of STX France but gives France the right to take back 1% if industrial and employment commitments aren't met. Symphony of the Seas is pictured in the dock at Saint-Nazaire prior to its float-out in June (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)

Closing two months of dispute and negotiations between France and Italy, a solution has been found for the new ownership structure of major cruise shipbuilder STX France.

The shared ownership agreement was signed off by French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Wednesday at a bilateral summit in Lyon.

Under the terms of the new deal, Fincantieri will take a 50% stake in STX, the French state will keep its 34.34%, France's Naval Group will hold 10%, STX staff 2% and STX local suppliers 3.66%.

In order to give Fincantieri effective control, the French state will lend it a 1% stake, but will have the right to get it back if Fincantieri doesn’t comply to its commitments on jobs, governance or intellectual property.

This right to withdrawal will be discussed again after 2, 5, 8 and 12 years.

France also keeps all previously negotiated guarantees concerning its 7,000 employees, research, development, veto right and defence.

The new Board will have eight member – four Italian, including the president and general manager posts, two will represent the French state, one the Naval Group and one from STX staff.

Paris and Rome also agreed to explore the creation of a French-Italian naval defense group, merging the French military Naval Group and Fincantieri. Naval Group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships as well as supplying services to shipyards and naval bases and marine renewable energy solutions.

Of the 80 cruise ships on order, over half are being built by STX France and Fincantieri yards.

 

Posted 27 September 2017

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Michèle Valandina

Michèle Valandina French correspodent

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