On 3 April at 10:30am, the “La Grande Forme” saga at La Ciotat Shipyards comes to an end or, rather, begins with the official inauguration of the partnership between Blohm+Voss La Ciotat SAS, a subsidiary of the Lürssen Group, and MB92 at La Ciotat’s renovated dry dock. The inauguration will be held in the presence of the representatives from the shareholders of SEMIDEP-Ciotat (the management company of La Ciotat Shipyards), Peter Lürssen, CEO of Lürssen, and the MB92 senior management team.
Since SEMIDEP-Ciotat, the body charged with the economic development and management of La Ciotat Shipyards, originally put the 200x60m ‘Great Dry Dock’ up for tender, the project has been a constant source of speculation and interest. Rumours surrounding the company that would enter into partnership with SEMIDEP-Ciotat were rife.
Upon learning that Blohm+Voss had won the tendering process, it seemed that the rumour mill would be stilled. However, when information concerning Lürssen’s acquisition of Blohm+Voss was leaked in September 2016, the future of La Grande Forme was once again subject to rumour and confusion.
After months of discussion, it was announced that Lürssen and MB92 had reached an agreement for a strategic partnership for the running of Blohm+Voss La Ciotat and the growth of the 80m+ refit sector in the area.
“Blohm+Voss and MB92 have reached an agreement to jointly manage via its joint venture, ‘Blohm+Voss La Ciotat SAS’, the extraordinary La Ciotat dry dock, whose concession was granted last October,” read MB9’s official statement.
“The excellent relationship between Lürssen, Blohm+Voss and MB92, as well as the experience of more than 20 years of close and successful collaboration between Lürssen, the world leader in large yacht construction, and MB92, the leader of refit and repair in the Mediterranean, has been essential in reaching this joint venture.”
The inauguration of La Grande Forme, not only represents the beginning of a partnership between two of the superyacht markets most revered companies, Lürssen and MB92, it also represents the conclusion of fascinating story. However, if reports from La Ciotat are to be believed, there are big announcements still to be made.