L'Agence des participations de l'État (APE) purchased from STX the 66% of the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire that the Korean company owned, bringing its stake to 100%. A temporary nationalisation but of high symbolic value.
Almost bankrupt, the Korean giant had decided to sell in 2016. Thus, the Saint-Nazaire shipyard has been 100% state-controlled since July 11.
L'Agence des participations de l'État (APE) bought the 66% of the yard from STX for around €80 million.
This new round should have taken place before July 1 in accordance with an agreement with the Koreans, but the authorities have disrupted the timetable. Their green light may not come until autumn 2018 for validation in early 2019.
This operation does not call into question the future distribution of capital.
Nationalisation is temporary: "From next week we will sell the shares to the minority shareholders, Naval Group (11.7%), the employees (2.4%) and a group of local companies (1.6%). We expect a decision from the Competition Authority in October to finalise the sale to Fincantieri," explains an APE spokesperson.
At the beginning of February, the Italian public group signed an agreement with the French State to acquire 50% of the capital of the Saint-Nazaire shipyards for 59.7 million euros. Fincantieri will also receive 1% of the capital, lent for twelve years by the APE, in order to become the majority shareholder of the cruise ship specialist.
The participation of Naval Group, the French industrial group specialising in the naval defence industry and renewable marine energies, secures this Loire-Atlantique shipyard's capacity to build the large hulls which it needs to manufacture aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers and other supply vessels.
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