It is fact. The shipyards of Saint-Nazaire have officially found a buyer. It is not asian – the number one hazard that the French government, which owns 34 %, has done everything possible to rule out . And it is, indeed, a european industrial : Italian Fincantieri was held Tuesday, January 3, by justice of south korea for the takeover of STX France. Again a preferred choice by Bercy since he has the file in hand. Champagne ?
Who will take over the Shipyards STX ?
1.9000 people in the world
The Italian group has beautiful assets. Held at 70 % by a State agency (a kind of Caisse des dépôts Italian version) and 30% by private shareholders, the group listed on the stock market has done in 2015 and a turnover of 4,183 billion euros and a positive net result of € 7 million at the end of the first three quarters of 2016.
Just like in Saint-Nazaire, the order books of the company based in Trieste are full : 106 ships to build, or € 21.8 billion and 5 years of work farm insured. And just like Saint-Nazaire, Fincantieri has divided his activity between the civil and the military with the construction of cruise liners, ferries, yachts, military vessels, and ships “off-shore”.
But the comparison stops there. With a history that began in Trieste in 1736, the Italian prides himself on having built more than 7,000 vessels, and have 20 projects that are deployed on 4 continents, including 15 in Europe and 8 in Italy. It employs in its sector 19,000 people (of which 7,500 in Italy) and 80,000 sub-contractors (including 50,000 in Italy). For the record, STX France, whose order books are full until 2026, directly employs 2,600 people, and 5,000 indirectly.
“We don’t want to depend of Trieste”
“are we Going to keep our autonomy, will continue to diversify our activities between the military, the cruise and marine energy as today ? That will happen if the market turns around ? We don’t want to depend of Trieste”, about yesterday with the “Obs” Christophe Morel of the CFDT STX France.
For him, the risk would be that the Italians prefer the French site – with its wedge deep and its portico outside the norm – to build the “giants of the sea” that they do not have the ability to assemble, and that building more means – indispensable for the hollow of activity, pass under the nose. Not to mention possible job losses as the synergies between the two groups could cause.
as Soon as they learned last week that the Italian remained the sole candidate, elected local officials have also reacted by raising the risk for St-Nazaire to be swallowed up by Fincantieri :
“This is a track dangerous. On the one hand, Fincantieri has sold the know-how to the Chinese. On the other hand, if the cruise market becomes less flourishing, it is likely to contribute to its Italian site rather than Saint-Nazaire”, is in Western France on December 27, senator PS Yannick Vaugrenard learning that the judges koreans had received only one bid, that of the Italians.
Bruno Retailleau, president of The Republicans of the regional council and close to François Fillon, very attentive to the folder, he immediately affirmed in Western France, on December 28th, his desire to form a new round table to “preserve the future of the shipyard” and want to “write a shareholders’ agreement to obtain guarantees on the maintenance of the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, the management and the employees, and finally on the strategic interests of France”.
A future Airbus naval
Are they right to worry ?
on the Italian Side, if one understands the concerns and reservations of each, not to pass for naughty small ducks ready to make a mouthful of the building French. A source close to the dossier, on the contrary, a state of very good reports of Fincantieri with the finance ministry as well as with DCNS. The French industrial group specialized in the shipbuilding industry military, which works hand in hand with Saint-Nazaire and is in need of projects to build in particular its aircraft carriers, would be in negotiation with Fincantieri to enter the capital. A good point for the defense of the interests tricolor, the French State keeping 34 % of the capital and its blocking minority.
“How can anyone think that a group as powerful as Fincantieri, with its global connections, its diversity, and the equivalent of the ‘caisse des dépôts’ share in the company, can be considered to be a buyer risky ?”, comments on this close the folder by highlighting the birth of a “new Airbus of the seas.”