October 18, 2016 / 11:32 AM / 10 months ago

S.Korean court to allow STX France to be sold separately

SEOUL, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A South Korean court has decided to allow two units of the collapsed STX shipbuilding group to be sold either separately or together, according to a sales notice seen by Reuters on Tuesday, opening the prospect of a separate sale of STX France.

The French business, which specialises in building cruise ships at its former naval yard in Saint-Nazaire and is profitable, is expected by analysts to attract buying interest.

Bids are due in by Nov. 4 for STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd and a 66.7 percent stake in STX France SA that is held by STX Europe AS, according to a sales notice from advisor Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers that is due to appear in South Korean newspapers on Wednesday.

The French state holds the remaining stake in STX France and said last week that it was not planning to buy a majority stake in the unit but would retain its minority blocking stake and is expected to have a say in any ownership change.

The Seoul Central District Court, which is managing STX Offshore's receivership, approved the sale plan this week after discussions with stakeholders including creditor banks, an STX Offshore spokesman said, declining to comment on possible sales prices or potential interested parties.

While the court overseeing STX Offshore's receivership would prefer that a single buyer acquire both assets, it has agreed that they can be sold separately, the spokesman said. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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