Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri takes effective control of STX France under shared ownership agreement that was revealed on Wednesday, September 27, by the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.
In July France angered Italy by ordering “temporary” nationalization of STX and cancelling a deal in which another Italian investor along with Fincantieri had agreed to buy 55% of the company, based in Saint-Nazaire, western France.
Wednesday’s deal will see Fincantieri holding a 51% stake in STX France. Rome and Paris will explore the creation of Franco-Italian naval defense group, via merging French Naval Group with Fincantieri, according to Macron’s office.
The countries hope outlines of the deal can be struck by June next year, creating pan-European naval defense champion similar to the combined rail engineering group created through the near 50/50 tie-up between France’s Alstom and Germany’s Siemens Mobility.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Fincantieri takes a 50% stake in STX. The French state will hold 34.34%, Naval Group 10%, STX staff 2% and STX local suppliers 3.66%.
In order for Fincantieri to take effective control, France will lend it a 1% stake. Paris will be able to demand the holding back in case Fincantieri doesn't honor commitments on governance, intellectual property or jobs.
STX’s Saint-Nazaire is the only one large enough in France to construct aircraft carriers and other big warships, making it strategic national asset.