Macron, Gentiloni Near Deal Giving Italy STX Control - Bloomberg
French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni are close to an accord that would give Fincantieri SpA majority control of the French shipyard STX, ending a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
According to Italian and French officials, the two leaders could sign the deal at a bilateral summit Wednesday in Lyon, France. The accord would give Fincantieri a little over 50 percent of the Saint-Nazaire shipyard on the Atlantic coast, said two Italian officials who could not be named because negotiations are confidential.
“If the outcome is majority control for the Italians, then this spat has been a bit of a waste of time,” Marc Ostwald, global strategist at ADM Investor Services in London, said in a telephone interview. “But the rapprochement is definitely positive. Macron wants to reform the European Union, and he needs the Italians on board. Perhaps he’s also thinking that Italian investors, from inside the EU, are less worrying than, say, the Chinese.”
Relations between the two nations soured in August after Macron went back on an agreement reached under his predecessor Francois Hollande that gave Fincantieri control of STX. About a month before Macron was elected, the Italian company had agreed to buy 48 percent of the shipbuilder from South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, with CR Trieste also holding its quota.