Thunder in Saint-Nazaire! The Korean group STX Offshore and Shipbuilding 1a Friday in Seoul that it plans to sell its shipyards in France, Finland and China in the debt-reduction plan of the parent STX Corp.. "We are currently reviewing the structure of our society to focus on the domestic shipbuilding," said a spokesman for the South Korean group. "In this context, we are considering the sale of foreign assets to raise new cash."
So, these are the former sites of the Atlantic are found in unstable equilibrium. Indeed, STX Offshore controls 66% stake in these projects, with the remainder held by the French State. STX France officials refused to comment Friday evening on a possible sale of these assets. These financial problems are not a surprise to the employees of the Group to the extent that the need to restructure its debt was public knowledge. In fact, STX Corp has been weakened by the slowdown in global shipbuilding market.
The Government assures steps follow the situation of shipyards in Saint-Nazaire "close." This Saturday, the Minister of Economy, Pierre Moscovici, reiterated his "commitment to the Atlantic Yards" and its intention to "keep the job and excellence." "We will always" turn, assured the minister. Then it was Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Productive Recovery, which states that nationalization without control would be useless. "Nationalization is a pragmatic, not ideological tool," said the World Arnaud Montebourg, recalling that the working tool of these projects is "efficient", but the main problem remains the lack of orders.
Unions expect an increase in the participation of the state in yards beyond the 33% it currently holds. The Socialist Senator de la Loire, Yannick Vaugrenard, had also requested the government side now organize a round table with French manufacturers who might be interested in a possible takeover. According to STX, potential buyers have already come forward to take over a part of its shipyards in Europe. "We will see more in the second half of this year," said a spokesman.
The staff refused to time to sink into pessimism, since STX France recorded in December a historical control nearly one billion euros for a ship commanded by an American company, Royal Caribbean International. This debt reduction, if it is started, should not deprive the shipyards in Saint-Nazaire fighting regularly to get orders.
The final agreement reached at the end of last year even led to a skirmish between France and Finland2. The Finnish government, the shipyards were in competition with those of Saint-Nazaire for the construction of a giant cruise ship for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line owner, went to ask the European Commission to determine whether the rules competition had been met.