The deadline for international bids to take on the company and its assets and debts had been extended to 10 January. By that date only the bids from Palumbo, the Italian refit business with existing facilities in Messina, Naples and Malta, and the Maltese refit and management company Melita Marine were recognised. A third rumoured bid failed to materialise.
According to a spokesperson at ITM, the investment proposals from Melita and Palumbo can be improved up until 48h before the date of the Commercial Court’s final decision on who to award the yard to. The date of the Court’s decision has been set at 27 January.
That there are two bids is good news for the shipyard, its employees and subcontractors. It is likely that the Commercial Court will write down a proportion of the yard’s existing book debts, thereby alleviating some of the burden of taking on the yard, which is a key stakeholder in the Port of Marseille.
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