After resilience comes the time for competitiveness for Brittany Ferries

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Brittany Ferries will benefit from an exceptional state subsidy of 45 million euros, as well as the waiver of debts for a total of 16 million euros. This was announced by the French prime minister Jean Castex.

Jean-Marc Roué, president of Brittany Ferries, has welcomed the French government’s announcement.

For over a year, Brittany Ferries has warned the French state of its deteriorating financial situation as it has battled the Brexit and Covid crises. In particular, the closure of passenger services on the English Channel, a direct consequence of travel restrictions put in place by various European governments to control the Covid pandemic, has had a massive impact.

Support first came to the company last year in the form of government-backed loans issued by French banks to the tune of €117m. The company was further supported by the regions of Brittany and Normandy. It was therefore able to rely on its resilience for nearly two years, in the face of the double storm of Brexit and Covid.

However, significant accumulated losses made it impossible to resort to further loans to guarantee a return to growth. Brittany Ferries, which is the largest employer of French sailors as well as being a vector of economic and tourist development of the Brittany and Normandy regions, had no other recourse than seek reimbursement for the damage suffered as a direct consequence of the forced closure of passenger services.

Norwegian contracts for Norled and Torghatten

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Norled has been awarded a contract for the operation of fast ferries in Kinn, Bremanger, Stad, Vik, Høyanger, Sogndal and Lærdal municipalities, from 2024 to 2036.

The contract has clear requirements related to a CO2 cut of at least 52%.

Norled wants to introduce battery technology on fast ferries.

Torghatten Nord has won a 10-year contract for an electric ferry service on the Bognes-Lødingen route with a design from Norwegian Ship Design.

Godby sells LINK STAR

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Godby Shipping agreed to sell roro vessel LINK STAR to Norwest Ship Management in Norway.

The delivery will take place in Husoy, Norway between 12 to 25 November 2021.

Link Star was built in 1989 at JJ. Sietas Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Godby designed the vessel together with the first customer Transfennica, crew and shipyard. We have thus owned the vessel Link Star since delivery 1989.

Length 107m | DWT 4,453 | Cargo handling stern ramp and side loader

Confitarma protests against ‘unfair’ public subsidies, only for some ferries in Italy

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Italian shipowners’ association Confitarma chaired by Mario Mattioli (and backed by Grimaldi Group among others) publicly complained and protested for public subsidies (roughly EUR 225 million) addressed to ships renewal plan on the local cabotage. “It would result in an unfair economic advantage for those companies which are investing now, on late, on green shipping solutions, if compared with those which have already spent money for the same purpose,” according to Confitarma.

Luca Sisto, general manager of the association, highlighted that, “some Italian shipping companies have already invested millions of euros to implement and improve solutions aimed at reducing emissions.”

Confitarma would like the Italian government to extend to every kind of ships (not only small ferries) the subsidies, to link the financial measure to the effective cost of the investments done by the company and to remove the limit which impose for the vessel subsidized the obligation to operate on the local cabotage.

A new debt restructuring plan soon to be presented to Moby’s creditors

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In the long-lasting story of Moby’s debt restructuring, a new chapter seems to be emerging. The news provider Reorg Research revealed this week that the Milan-based ferry company is likely to present a “new restructuring proposal, which is part of a memorandum of understanding signed with its ad hoc group of bondholders in September. It envisages a 30% recovery for the portion of its unsecured debt that is not covered by the value of the company’s collateral”.

According to Italy’s bankruptcy law, a competing concordato preventive proposal “on a going-concern basis can be presented by creditors holding at least 10% of a company’s debt, only if the shareholders’ proposal doesn’t imply a recovery of at least 30% for unsecured creditors”.

Overall recoveries for the Italian shipping company’s secured creditors will improve compared with previous concordato proposals because of the disposal of non-core assets such as its tugboat division, sources said.

According to the MoU, the ad hoc bond holders group would be available to provide the company about Eur 60 million in new super senior money.

Before next Christmas Moby and Cin Tirrenia’s creditors will be called to express their vote on the presented plans.

Remark on the article “Increased fares for trucks on Adriatic ferries”

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Following the specific article in our previous newsletter, we would like to add a remark:

The increase in the fares in the Adriatic service came as a consequence of the pandemic and the following sudden increase in fuel prices, which is something that wasn’t mentioned in the article. Furthermore, the adjustment of fuel surcharge is relevant to the adjustment of fuel oil prices and it exists for many ferry operators in Europe.