HAMBURG Aug 22 Troubled German shipbuilder P+S
Werften, which operates two of the country's biggest shipyards,
has asked some of its customers to pay for ships in advance to
bridge a liquidity shortfall and avert insolvency.
New Chief Executive Ruediger Fuchs has approached Danish
shipper DFDS, passenger ferry operator Scandlines
and Greenland's Royal Arctic Line, a P+S spokesman
said on Wednesday.
P+S had planned to file for insolvency on Wednesday, the
spokesman said, the possibility of receiving funds from
customers gave Fuchs a couple more days to come up with a rescue
The global shipbuilding industry has been suffering from a
slump in demand for sea freight and an oversupply of container
ships ordered before the global economic crisis. European
shipyards have also been hurt by competition from China and
In Germany, deliveries dropped by more than half to 2
billion euros ($2.5 billion) last year. The most prominent
victim was Hamburg-based Sietas, the country's oldest shipyard,
which filed for insolvency in November, crushed by its debt.
P+S Werften, which has about 2,000 employees, ran into
financial trouble when it fell behind schedule in delivering new
ships, sapping its liquidity, the company spokesman said.
It received a German state guarantee for a 152.4 million
euro rescue loan, but Fuchs, who was appointed CEO this month,
found that those funds were insufficient to finish building any
more ships on order.
P+S does not have enough money to bridge the time it would
take to obtain approval for further state aid, the spokesman
Scandlines' Managing Director Soeren Poulsgaard Jensen told
Reuters that he was interested in a quick solution for P+S, but
declined to say whether his company would provide any funds.
DFDS, meanwhile, declared that it would play no role in rescuing
"They have big problems, and it is entirely out of our hands
to rescue this yard," DFDS Chief Executive Niels Smedegaard
told Reuters on Wednesday. He said DFDS has already made partial
payments for two vessels but declined to say how much.
Royal Arctic Line was not immediately available for comment.
P+S was created in 2010 through the merger of German
shipbuilding companies Volkswerft Stralsund GmbH and Peene Werft
GmbH. It makes vessels including container ships, fishing
vessels, river cruise boats and passenger ferries.
It operates two shipyards, Volkswerft Stralsund and
Peene-Werft Wolgast, in the northern German state of
($1 = 0.8013 euros)
(Additional reporting by Ole Mikkelsen and Maria Sheahan;
Editing by David Goodman)