The Polish Ministry of Treasury (MSP) has, without warning, ended the process of selling off state-owned Polferries.
In a brief announcement using official terminology, it said “The MSP informs that it has decided to withdraw from negotiations initiated pursuant to those published 29 October concerning the acquisition of 91.64% of shares of Polska Zegluga Baltycka SS (Polish Baltic Shipping also known as Polferries).”
The decision, it continued, “was taken on the basis of Polish law by the Council of Ministers under which the MTS has the right to withdraw from the negotiations without giving reasons”.
This left interested parties disappointed and no wiser. Grimaldi’s Baltic subsidiary, Finnlines, was one bidder. In a terse Helsinki stock exchange announcement on the abrupt end of the sale, it described Polferries as “one of the major shipping companies owned by the state of Poland, providing maritime liner services in the southern Baltic Sea between Poland and Sweden/Denmark with three ro-pax/passenger vessels”.
Related news:Finnlines downsizes, but bids for Polferries
A clue as to the company‘s fate and government policy could be found in the final sentence of the ministry release. This stated, “At the same time, the MSP informs that after this [withdrawal], decisions will focus on the possibilities of implementing different patterns of development for the company, taking into account the use controlled by the Treasury’s ferry assets”. This could mean that the state will continue ownership and development.
Both the ministry and Finnlines declined IHS Maritime’s requests for clarification and neither would make any comment on the situation.