Fincantieri paying $88.6m for STX France

Italian shipbuilder inks deal to acquire a 66.66% stake in French rival.

Fincantieri has officially put pen to paper to acquire a majority stake in historic French shipbuilder STX France.

The Italian company is paying EUR 79.5m ($88.6m) for 66.66% of the STX France share capital from its current shareholder STX Europe.

“The perfect complementarity of Fincantieri and STX France cruise activities and products will allow the two companies to serve all the clients and end-markets and to generate value not only for shareholders, but also for the employees and the respective subcontractors’ networks,” Fincantieri said.

The French state is expected to keep its 33% stake in STX France.

Fincantieri added it continues to negotiate with the government for the finalisation of the heads of terms agreement signed last month.

France and Fincantieri sealed a preliminary deal under which the Italian company would take control of a 48% stake in the 150-year-old Saint-Nazaire yard, which has 2,600 employees and generated EUR 1.4bn revenue in 2016.

STX France has 14 cruiseships on its orderbook for MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, TUI Travel and Norwegian Cruise Line, according to data from Clarksons.

Fincantieri has also secured a series of big orders in 2017 and said its yards will remain busy until at least 2023 as its revenue for the first quarter went up form EUR 1.05bn to EUR 1.1bn.