EC allows more state aid to ease Brodosplit privatization

recent launch at BrodosplitFEBRUARY 21, 2012 — The European Commission has authorized an amendment to the restructuring plan and the privatization contract for Croatia's Brodosplit shipyard and the Government of Croatia has committed to complete the sale of the shipbuilder to Samobor, Croatia, based DIV Group by February 28, 2013. The amendment agreed by the EC is described as "a modest increase in the total amount of restructuring aid to Brodosplit, as well as additional compensatory measures.

Left: Passenger vessel launch at Brodosplit earlier this month

Commission Vice-President and Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: "I am happy that we could find a satisfactory solution for the restructuring of the Brodosplit yard. This means that privatization can now go ahead in line with the commitments made by Croatia under the Act of Accession. The implementation of the restructuring plan should enable the new owners of Brodosplit and its workforce to move ahead and build a new future for this shipyard".

In line with EU guidelines on state aid for the rescue and restructuring of companies, any restructuring aid must be accompanied by compensatory measures in order to offset the impact of the aid on competition. The Commission has accepted the proposal by Croatia to further reduce the annual production ceilings for the yard. The Commission considers that these additional compensatory measures are sufficient in view of the relatively modest increase in the amount of restructuring aid requested for the yard.

The EC says the contribution being made by the Brodosplit Group's buyer to the restructuring is "real, free of state aid and still represents 40 percent of the total restructuring costs."

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