STX France, based at St Nazaire in France, specialises in building large cruise ships. It is part of the troubled Korean shipbuilding conglomerate STX, which is currently in receivership. The Seoul bankruptcy court stated in November that four parties had expressed interest in taking over the French part of STX, but it has since confirmed that currently only one bid has been received. This is from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.
In spite of an apparently healthy order book, including the two recent orders from MSC, other yards have been hesitant to make a bid for the profitable shipbuilder. One of these, French naval contractor DCNS, admitted they had held talks with Fincantieri and were presently keeping their options open. Getting Hong Kong announced it was no longer interested.
The French government has a 33% stake in STX France, but has made public that it is not interested in getting a majority stake. However, it insisted that it would be retaining its blocking powers on any changes, and would have a say in any ownership change. The French Industry Minister insisted that France would maintain its right to veto any sale if the conditions weren’t right.