DECEMBER 16, 2014 — French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has told reporters in Rome that "there is interest on the Italian part" in taking a share of STX France. Though he didn't actually say the name, the Minister thus confirmed growing speculation that Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri is interested in adding France's largest shipbuilder to its empire.
The Italian party is "looking to see if it can take the place of another investor, who is Korean," said Mr. Sapin.
The other investor is, of course, Korea's battered STX Europe, which is under pressure from Korea Development Bank to sell its 66.6% share of STX France.The rest is held by the French government through the Strategic Investment Fund (ISF) and Mr. Sapin told reporters that a French green light would be necessary for any deal.
Though a lot of attention has been paid to the fact that a Fincantieri take over would create a huge consolidation in the cruise ship building market, a yet to be delivered Russian warship parked at STX France's St. Nazaire shipyard is a reminder that it would also see concentration in the European naval market,