PARIS Oct 10 The French government said on
Monday it was not planning to take a majority stake in the
French subsidiary of struggling South Korean shipyard group STX
Corp but that it would retain its minority blocking stake and
expected a say in any ownership change.
The government's position on STX France was spelled out in a
statement by the finance ministry after the Liberation newspaper
said the government might take a majority stake.
The French state holds a 33 percent minority stake in STX
France, which runs naval shipyards in Saint-Nazaire on the west
coast. Loss-making STX Corp is in administration.
One issue of importance from France's point of view is the
shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, which is a big local employer with a
healthy order-book for building of cruise liners.
"The government's objective is not to become majority holder
in STX France but rather to influence the decision on who takes
over the Saint-Nazaire yard so that it can count on a solid
industrial shareholder structure to accompany is long-term
development," the finance ministry statement said.
Dutch group Damen shipyards and Italian group Fincantieri
are among potential buyers that have emerged for STX
France. Local officials however recently said they opposed
Fincantieri's candidacy as they feared it might transfer to
Italy part of STX's workload.
(Reporting By Brian Love, Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Ingrid