France will nationalise the STX shipyard, a leading builder of cruise ships, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Thursday, raising the stakes in a dispute with Italy over control of the site.
"We have taken the decision to exercise the state's right of preeemption on STX," Le Maire announced, insisting it was just a "temporary" move while France continued negotiations with Italy on shared ownership of the firm.
The dispute was sparked by Italian ship building company Fincantieri's refusal to accept an offer to split STX's capital equally.
Fincantieri agreed in May to pay €79.5 million for two-thirds of STX France, which is being sold following the collapse of South Korean parent STX, but the Italian bid has raised fears for French jobs at the Saint-Nazaire site on the Atlantic Coast.
Italian interests rejected the French proposal for ownership of STX France to be split equally between Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri and Paris.
Both Fincantieri Chief Executive Giuseppe Bono and Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda raised the prospect that Fincantieri could walk away from the deal if France backed away from conditions agreed under the former government of President François Hollande, who left office in May.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2017-07-27