South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) confirmed on 12 May that it is considering buying a stake in cruise-ship builder STX France.
DSME said in a Korea Exchange filing that it has received the offer documents from the lead manager of the sale.
The STX Group’s main creditor, Korea Development Bank (KDB), is looking to offload its stake, having become a shareholder after a series of debt-to-equity swaps, following the chaebol’s deterioration into financial difficulty in 2013. The STX Group was badly hit by the shipping crisis and incurred billions of dollars of debt.
As part of the financial restructuring of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, all of STX Europe’s yards were put up for sale. STX Finland was sold to German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in 2014.
The French government has a 34% stake in STX France.
Speculation that KDB, which is also a DSME shareholder, would get South Korea’s third-biggest shipbuilder to take over STX France, began mounting after the bank appointed former STX Offshore & Shipbuilding co-CEO Jung Sung-leep to take over the helm at DSME.
DSME said, “While we’re in the midst of examining the documents, we haven’t made a firm decision. We will make a follow-up announcement in due course.”