By Pierre Tran, journalist – The French shipbuilder Naval Group plans to announce at the Euronaval trade show, organized by GICAN, a bullish outlook for working with its prospective Italian partner Fincantieri, chairman and chief executive officer Hervé Guillou said.

“We intend to say that we are positive about the progress of our discussion,” he said in an October 15 press conference call.

That announcement, which was being drafted as the conference call was being held, would be made at Euronaval, he said.

The naval trade show runs October 23 to 26 and will be held at Le Bourget exhibition center, near the capital.

In other expected announcements at the show, Guillou said there would be a statement on a Franco-Italian fleet of auxiliary tankers. A French version of the Italian tanker ship is expected to be built in France in cooperation with Italy.

Naval Group and Fincantieri, at the request of their respective governments, submitted mid-July reports setting out a road map for cross-border industrial cooperation, with a view to consolidation in the defense sector.

A cooperative deal between Naval Group and Fincantieri stems from the latter acquiring French civil shipbuilder STX, which operated the sole shipyard large enough to build an aircraft carrier. Macron saw that acquisition as weakening French sovereignty and insisted on limiting the Italian shareholding in the target company.

The French government then broadened the deal to cross-border cooperation between  Fincantieri and Naval Group, and also sought to bring in electronics companies Leonardo and Thales. The latter sees little value in that planned industrial cooperation as Fincantieri is mostly engaged in the civil sector, while Naval Group is engaged in military.

“Now there is a clear way ahead on the industrial road map,” he said. “There is need as well for parallel discussion between governments. It’s normal it takes time.”

The report from Naval Group recommended a cross-shareholding of five to ten percent, linking up with Fincantieri along the lines of a partnership forged by French car maker Renault and its Japanese partners Mitsubishi and Nissan. (…)



Photo credit >>> French Navy