German cruise shipbuilder MV Werften filed for bankruptcy on Monday, January 10, leaving the fate of the yard and its ~2,000 employees uncertain.
The bankruptcy comes following negotiations between the government of Germany and the owner of the shipyard, GHK-Genting Hong Kong, which did not reach an agreement over financing for the remaining building of Global Dream, the Global Class cruise ship being constructed for Dream Cruises, another GHK subsidiary.
According to reports in German media, Robert Habeck, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, blamed GHK for the insolvency and potential loss of jobs.
Shares of Genting were suspended from trading on the HK Stock Exchange on Friday ahead of the announcement on Monday.
Like others in the cruise industry sector, MV Werften and GHK have faced difficulties in the wake of the COVID crisis and its impact on guest operations.
MV Werften was formed back in 2016 with Genting’s acquisition of Nordic Yards’ 3 shipyards in Rostock-Warnemunde, Stralsund, and Wismar, Germany. Since 2017, the cruise shipbuilder has delivered 4 Rhine Class river ships and the polar-class luxury expedition yacht Crystal Endeavor for Crystal, also a Genting Hong Kong cruise company. MV Werften’s biggest facility in Wismar has one of the largest covered building docks in Europe and is one of a few facilities worldwide capable of building some of the largest cruise ships.
At 208,000 GT and 342 metres long, Global Dream is expected to have a capacity for up to 9,500 passengers, ranking it as one of the highest-capacity liners in the world. Construction of the vessel is reportedly ~75% completed.
The most recent delivery of MV Werften, Crystal Endeavor, took place from the Stralsund shipyard in June last year following a EUR 193M government loan issued in October 2020 in order to help fund the remainder of building and shipyard operations through March 2021.