Going once, going twice,… STX France soon to be sold

Located on the Atlantic coast in Saint-Nazaire, France, STX France is renowned worldwide for designing and building some of the most legendary cruise ships.

Some of these include the SS Normandie,  the world’s largest ship in 1935, SS France, which was launched in 1961 and was the world’s longest passenger ship until 2004 and Seven Seas Mariner, the world’s first all balcony luxury cruise ship. Queen Mary 2, one of the most famous ships in the world, was built at the shipyard in 2003. QM2 as she is commonly known, is the longest, tallest, widest, and the largest ocean liner sailing regular scheduled Transatlantic crossings. In 2010 STX France built Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic. Earlier this year the shipyard delivered Harmony of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship in the world to its owners Royal Caribbean.

stx france aerial
Aerial view of STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France

The shipyard is currently working on a fourth Oasis class ship for Royal Caribbean and MSC Meraviglia, one of the next-generation ultramodern mega-ships for MSC Cruises. STX has signed letters of agreement to build the new project ‘Edge’ ships for Celebrity Cruises and seven other new mega-ships for MSC Cruises.

But while STX has a major reputation as one of the world’s leading shipyards, and a full book of orders, it is currently up for sale and should be sold in the next few days.

The Korean group STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, a mayor stakeholder but heavily in debt, could be on the verge of liquidation. France’s justice department has given the group until 9 september to come up with a plan to restructure the company.

According to the French Ministry of Economy “This is part of a formal but non decisve process.” Nevertheless  arrangements are being made to begin a devestiture process (the partial or full disposal of a business unit through sale, exchange, closure or bankruptcy) and find new liquid assets.

On this basis two potential buyers, Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri and Dutch Damen Shipyards, have come forward and started anticipatory talks with the French government, who holds a blocking minority and owns the remaining third of the company’s capital. In an effort to secure the development of STX and its workload prospects, the government is in talks with a consortium of interested buyers , including one from the industrial sector and a second credible party who is interested in buying the company at a later date.

STX France was acquired by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in 2009.

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