A statement from Brussels informed that “the European Commission has concluded that the public service compensation granted since 2009 to Tirrenia di Navigazione and later to its acquirer Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (CIN) for the operation of ferry services in Italy is in line with EU State aid rules”.
The Commission also concluded that “the public service compensation granted between 1992 and 2008 to companies of the former Tirrenia Group (the regional lines Adriatica, Caremar, Saremar, Siremar and Toremar) is in line with EU State aid rules, with the exception of aid for one specific route, which is incompatible”.
For this reason it found that there were “other measures in favour of Tirrenia incompatible with EU State aid rules” therefore Italy will have recover now €15 million of illegal aid but from Tirrenia in Amministrazione Straordinaria which is already in liquidation.
“The Commission has concluded that there is no economic continuity between Tirrenia and its acquirer CIN” and so the “recovery of the incompatible aid will be limited to Tirrenia (so from the State itself).
The decision coming from Bruxelles seems to be good news for the 100% Moby-controlled CIN but in real it makes undelayable for the group lead by Vincenzo Onorato to pay the remaining price of Tirrenia purchased in 2012. Apart from the € 200 million settled immediately, the first and the second deferred payments expired in 2017 (€ 55 million) and in 2019 (€ 60 million) were not paid waiting for the European Commission’s decision on the State aids case. A third € 65 million installment will expire in April 2021.
Moby, while announcing “its satisfaction regarding the positive outcome of the recent decision of the European Commission that the subsidy received by CIN in the 2012 Coastal Agreement and the tender procedure for the sale of the business unit of Tirrenia to CIN, also said: “Regarding the deferred payment with Tirrenia in Amministrazione Straordianria, Moby reaffirmed that, based on preliminary discussions already started, the group is fully available to find a solution in line with the ongoing restructuring plan”.