Fincantieri-STX deal sealed (7)

An improvement in all respects say Italian ministries

(ANSA) - Lyon, September 27 - Italy and France have reached a deal on Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri's takeover of the French STX shipyards, Italian government sources said Wednesday.
    Fincantieri will have a 50% stake in the Saint Nazaire shipyard plus an additional 1% loaned to it by the French state for 12 years in the deal reached before Wednesday's Italian-French summit in Lyon, French government sources said, confirming a report in Le Monde. France can take back the 1% if Fincantieri does not comply with the deal during those 12 years, they said.
    If Paris takes back the 1%, Fincantieri will have the option of selling the 50%, Rome government sources said.
    The ownership of STX is now thus constituted: 50% Fincantieri, 34.34% French State, 10% Naval Group, 3,66% local companies, 2% workers. The board is made up thus: 8 members, of whom 4 from Fincantieri, 2 from the French State, one representing workers and one the Naval Group. Laurent Castan remains president.
    Fincantieri shares fell 2% on the Milan bourse on news of the deal. The deal "is an improvement on the previous one from all standpoints", Italian industry and economy ministry sources said. The Italian shipbuilding group "will have direct control of 51% (of the Saint Nazaire shipyards), something not granted in the previous accord which envisaged 48% for Fincantieri and 4% for an Italian financial institution". They said the Italian group "will also have the president, managing director and majority on the board via the casting vote". The deal sets up the "construction of a world leader in the naval, civil and military sector, through an equal partnership between Italy and France", the sources said. The 1% of STX loaned by the French government for 12 years can be revoked for non-compliance with the terms of the deal, the sources noted, saying this provision was already in the previous accord.
    The Trieste-based company had been set to take over the company but the French government exercised pre-emption rights on STX capital in July, blocking the takeover and causing considerable tension with Rome. Paris had called on Fincantieri to accept an offer to divide STX's capital 50-50. But at the time Rome said it would not accept a deal in which Fincantieri did not have control of STX. photo: Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono