April 30, 2020

The closing of the deal which should make MSC a49% shareholder of the Genoa-based Ignazio Messina & C. has been postponed again. It will not take place before the end of April as previously announced. The previous deadline was March 31, and was already postponed due to some details still to be defined between the banks and the companies involved.

This time it seems that the cause may refers to the coronavirus emergency as MSC, apart from the malware attack to its website, is sailing in stormy waters both in the container and in the cruise business segments. MSC Cruises for instance announced that all the investments scheduled for the next 18 months would be stopped where possible.

Several market observers in Italy suggest that Gianluigi Aponte may have decided to take some more time before signing this new investment in the roro and conro vessels operator.

Through the Italian holding Marinvest, MSC should invest EUR 25 million for a 49% stake in the Ignazio Messina & C. group and a 52% stake in a new-co called Ro-Ro Italia controlling four of Messina’s eight modern conro ships. All eight vessels are linked to a EUR 487 millions debt with the local Banca Carige and classified as unlikely to pay.