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Saint-Nazaire - the sale of Chantiers de l'atlantique to Italian Fincantieri takes on water

Saint-Nazaire - the sale of Chantiers de l'atlantique to Italian Fincantieri takes on water

With the deadline set at 31 December 2020, the transfer agreement between the last French shipyard and the Italian giant is a failure.

The French state, the main shareholder

Initiated in April 2017, the purchase and sale contract depends on the decision of the European Commission. With the Covid 19 crisis and its repercussions in the world of cruising, the investigation of the case, complicated by the lack of visibility about the activity, has gone through five successive postponements. The last deadline being exceeded, the state remains the majority shareholder of Chantiers de l'atlantique while the repurchase transation by Fincantieri is blocked.

The flagship of the naval industry

Chantiers de l'atlantique is a world leader in the design, manufacture, assembly and commissioning of highly complex ships and marine installations. The agreement provides that Fincantieri holds 51% of the capital (1% of which is lent by the French state for twelve years and subject to obligations), the French state, 34.34 %, Naval group, 10 %, employees 2 %, a group of local companies 3.66 %.

Many detractors

Several Chantiers de l'atlantique unions, the Senate and the mayor of Saint-Nazaire, took position against the merger. Employees and elected officials fear in fact a transfer of technologies to China with which Fincantieri is already working: its alliance with the Chinese shipbuilding giant CSCC is already undercutting the price on ferries.

Chantiers de l'atlantique achieved a turnover of 1.8 billion euros in 2019 and employs 3,100 people and 5,000 French and foreign subcontractors. Even if the cruise market is at a standstill, the order books are well filled. The state will therefore continue its support during the exit from the crisis.

© Chantiers de l'atlantique

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