State Aid: European Commission Clears Public Support For Several Ferry Services In Italy; Finds Other Measures To Siremar And SNS To Be Incompatible Aid

By | 2021 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments

The European Commission has concluded that the public service compensation granted since 2009 to Sicilia Regionale Marittima S.p.A. (‘Siremar’) and Toscana Regionale Marittima S.p.A. (‘Toremar’) for the operation of ferry services in Italy is in line with EU State aid rules.

The same applies to the compensation granted to their acquirers, respectively Società Navigazione Siciliana (‘SNS’) since 2016 and Moby S.p.A (‘Moby’), since 2012.

However, the Commission found that certain other measures in favour of Siremar, currently in liquidation, and SNS are incompatible with EU State aid rules.

Italy must now recover approximately €1.9 million of illegal aid, including interest.

Moby Submitted A Plan To Save Tirrenia CIN: Five Ferries For Sale

By | 2021 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

Last Monday (May 24th), Moby filed a ‘concordato’ proposal for its subsidiary CIN (Tirrenia) as no agreement was found with the main creditor, i.e. the judicial administrators of Tirrenia AS, which is in extraordinary administration.

CIN owes EUR 180 million in unsecured debt (deferred payment) for the acquisition of the former public company Tirrenia from the Italian state in 2012.

The procedure will be therefore similar to the one selected also for Moby group since an out-of-court restructuring plan with the ad hoc group of bond holders was not reached either.

According to the plan submitted for Tirrenia CIN to the Court of Milan and exclusively revealed by news site Shipping Italy, five ferries are expected to be sold before 2025 (*)

Moby’s subsidiary is offering a 20% minimum guaranteed recovery to its unsecured creditors and the recovery could increase up to 35%. The repayment would take place at the earliest date of either 31 December 2025 or 36 months after the ‘concordato’ preventive homologation.


High-speed vessel ISOLA DI CAPRAIA is scheduled for sale in 2022, EUR 1.9 million

  • Roro BENIAMINO CARNEVALE in 2022, EUR 6.8 million
  • Ropax BITHIA in the same year, EUR 29.5 million
  • Ropax JANAS in 2024 for EUR 29.5 million
  • Ropax ATHARA also in 2024 for EUR 32.5 million

Tension Between Moby And The Ad Hoc Group Of Bondholders

By | 2021 Newsletter week 8 | No Comments

As the expiring date of March 28 for submitting the debt restructuring proposal is rapidly approaching, tensions are increasing between Moby and its bondholders.

Last week, news provider Reorg Research reported that the “ad hoc group” controlling 50% of the bonds issued by the Onorato-lead ferry company had sent a counterproposal in response to the Italian shipping company’s latest draft restructuring plan. “The bondholders are focusing on the size of the investment from Moby’s new potential partner Europa Investimenti, which is deemed to be too low. They also believe that the targeted returns on investment for Europa Investimenti are too high and not at market rates” sources said.

Another source of concern for the ad hoc group is Moby’s future governance, which according to the company’s plan, should remain in the hands of the Onorato family.

Latest News From Moby’s Debt Restructuring Plan

By | 2021 Newsletter week 6 | No Comments

News provider Reorg Research reported some details about Moby’s latest debt restructuring proposal: “Recovery for bank lenders will differ from that of bondholders, who will be able to choose between a 30% upfront payment or a smaller initial cash recovery that would also include future proceeds deriving from asset sales”.

The new restructuring proposal “targets the sale of about eight vessels of Moby and subsidiary Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione fleet in five years’ time.”

The proposal also includes the creation of a shipco which would buy the group’s fleet and lease it back to Moby. Investment fund Europa Investimenti would participate in the shipco”.

The Onorato-controlled company sent an updated restructuring proposal to its creditors earlier this month.

Moby Going On Serving Routes Until End of February

By | 2020 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

After some alarms raised over the maritime continuity in Italy during the last weeks, eventually Tirrenia Cin will go on serving the subsidised routes with the Tremoli, Sicily and Sardinia islands until the end of February.

The decision came after a meeting where the Italian transport ministry made sure that the condition and the financial resources for Moby group will be granted in change for the service offered.

The public contract for the subsidized maritime links between Italy mainland and the islands expired last July but was postponed until 28 February 2021.

The Italian financial newspaper IlSole24Ore also revealed that Moby selected the investment funds Arrow Capital and Europa Investimenti as preferred financial partner for setting up a debt restructuring and turnaround plan to be submitted to bondholders and banks before 28 December 2020, which is the expiring date decided by the Court of Milan.

Moby Approached Its Ad Hoc Bondholder Group with a Draft Restructuring Proposal

By | 2020 Newsletter week 49 | No Comments

Moby has approached its ad hoc bondholder group with a draft restructuring proposal consisting of new money from a third-party fund and two alternative forms of recovery.

That’s what the news provider Reorg revealed, mentioning sources familiar with the matter.

“Under the draft plan, the creditors may be able to choose between a 30% recovery, and a smaller cash recovery which would, however, also consist in the future proceeds deriving from potential asset sales” the sources said. The proposal is not official yet and may still change.

The size and type of the new money remains unclear.

Funds Clessidra and Europa Investimenti have submitted two non-binding proposals to the Italian shipping group, but Moby seems to be more inclined to select the proposal by Europa Investimenti.

Creditors are discussing the draft proposal and have not told Moby whether they would like to continue negotiations on these grounds, sources said.

The deadline for the Onorato-controlled group to present its restructuring plan is 28 December 2020.

French Regions Help Brittany Ferries to Get through these Difficult Times

By | 2020 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries’ newest vessel GALICIA made her maiden test call in the ports of Cherbourg and Portsmouth this week.

More relatively good news comes from the financial side of the business.

Normandie Region decided on Monday 12 October:

  • Extended depreciation of vessels from 30 to 35 years
  • This will reduce the charter rates by €2m/y = €10m over 5y.
  • SOMANOR (*) will pay the important maintenance works of owned ships, at a ratio of €7m/y = €35m over 5y.

Conseil Régional de Bretagne will decide on Thursday 15 October:

  • €30 million of financial assistance, of which €15 million will be made available immediately.
  • This aid is about deferring charter fees on the ships owned by the regions.
  • The money is not a subsidy.

A big issue in France is the fear to lose the French Flag. Brittany Ferries is one of the biggest employers of French crews.


  • Brittany Ferries …………………………………….. 24,65 %
  • Senacal…………………………………………………. 48,55 %
  • Senamanche………………………………………….. 26,80 %

Moby in Talks with Investment Funds for its Rescue Plan

By | 2020 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

The financial news provider Reorg Research revealed that “Fortress Investment Group, Clessidra Sgr and Europa Investimenti are amongst the funds discussing with Moby about a possible new money provision amid the group’s restructuring”, according to some sources. The process is in progress, but nothing has been decided yet.

Moby has been in talks with some investment funds for a deal designed to potentially unlock a standstill with creditors, as reported. The funds would be willing to provide new money to the group or, alternatively, buy its bonds and subsequently close a restructuring agreement with the company and its banks, according to sources.

The Onorato family-controlled company has to present a restructuring proposal by October 28 but it is expected to request a 60 days extension to the Court of Milan, where it filed for creditor protection under the concordato preventive procedure at the end of June.

Moby closed the first half of 2020 in red for EUR 50 million and the overall financial exposure increased to EUR 643 million, of which 160 million with banks, 295 million with bond holders and 140 million with subsidiaries.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

Moby Filed For Protection From Its Creditors Under Italian Insolvency Law

Milan, June 29, 2020 – “The boards of directors of Moby SpA and CIN SpA have resolved to present a request for a reservation pursuant to art. 161 sixth paragraph l.f. for both companies,” a statement from the company said.

“This choice has the aim of allowing the companies to continue negotiations with their creditors for the achievement of a restructuring agreement under the supervision and protection of the Milan court, protect business continuity and ensure the normal operation of routes for customers, employees and allied industries” the Onorato-controlled company added.

Moby Group hopes to reach, within the terms established by law, an agreement with its own creditors “which is fair, of common satisfaction and capable of guaranteeing that the companies can overcome their current difficulties and continue the relaunch of the Group in the interest of all stakeholders”.

The Milan-based ferry company said it is “in the best position to seize the opportunities that are emerging with the resumption of travel, and has already put in place all the necessary actions to continue to grow. The opportunities include, the strengthening of all connections – and in particular to and from Sardinia – reaching a total of 166 departures, the early reopening of the Corsica season, and the new partnership agreements to expand the offering to Sicily”.

Passenger Transport Between Sardinia And Italy Reopens – Excluded Ferry Companies Protest

By | 2020 Newsletter week 23 | No Comments

Italy’s transport minister announced on June 2nd that passenger transport to and from Sardinia island could re-open.

In a first phase only the ferry company operating the territorial continuity (i.e. Tirrenia – Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione) is allowed to start.

For all the other players operating on the same routes (Corsica Sardinia ferries, Grimaldi, Grandi Navi Veloci and Moby) the restart-date is June 13th.

The same rule applied for air transportation. Only public airline firm Alitalia was allowed to start.

This decision has been fiercely opposed by the shipowners and logistics associations Confitarma and Federlogistica supporting respectively Grimaldi and Grandi Navi Veloci’s interests. They ask the minister to rethink the act, also recalling antitrust issues as the measure would distort competition among ferry operators.