Mr Grimaldi Opposing Unfair State Aid to Troubled Ferry Companies
Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Grimaldi Group, said in an interview published by Lloyd’s List that he is not opposed to state intervention in such difficult times, but stresses that any financial aid has to be provided in accordance with existing rules, and that individual companies should not be singled out for support at the expense of more robust rivals.
The Italian shipowner is afraid that public funding of ferry companies may distort competition by “bailing out weak shipping lines at the expense of those operating in the same trades that are well capitalized” is written in the article. Otherwise, he may consider lodging antitrust complaints on behalf of operators that are not included in any financial support packages.
Grimaldi also stated that his group of companies (Finnlines, Minoan Lines, Malta Motorways of the Sea, Atlantic Container Line, Grimaldi Euromed and Grimaldi Deep Sea) did not ask for assistance from any national government.
He estimates that Grimaldi Group revenue could be down by as much as 15%, equivalent to some EUR 500 million in the coming months, but notes that this downturn will be offset by much cheaper fuel costs. With no debt on 57 of its 120 ships, very low financing costs, and healthy profit margins for many years of between 5% and 10%, “we have never been in such a strong position to weather this storm” he concluded.