French government approved the sale of STX Saint-Nazaire shipyard

STX Saint-Nazaire shipyardFrench government approved the sale of STX Saint-Nazaire shipyard to Italian Fincantieri Group. The reached agreement is for acquisition of 48% equity stake by the Italian shipbuilder, while the France’s state-controlled naval shipbuilding company DCNS will acquire 12%. The French government will keep its 33% share, as well as a veto right, while the remaining 7% will be acquired by the Italian investment group Fundazione CR Trieste. The acquisition agreement has pledged to maintain jobs and activity at Saint-Nazaire yard, without significant changes of the operations. However, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed by the officials.

The French government will retain a veto right in the shipyard over the next 20 years on any move to shift the operations at the Saint-Nazaire facility outside the country. It also demanded that Fincantieri retain a minority position for at least eight years, due to high importance of the shipbuilding company in construction of military and naval vessels.

Following the acquisition, Europe gains a true global competitor with 5.5 billion EUR turnover and more than 26,000 employees, capable of holding its own with the big players of the sector, especially South Koreans and Chinese.

STX Saint-Nazaire shipyard is one of the largest shipbuilding in the world, specializing in construction of cruise ships. Currently the yard has 14 cruise ships on order between now and 2026 for its two main clients, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

Fincantieri is an Italian shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy. It is already the largest shipbuilder in Europe. After the acquisition of VARD in 2013 the Fincantieri group doubled in size to become the fourth largest in the world. The company builds both commercial and military vessels.