As the insolvency official explained at a staff meeting in Wismar in the morning, Stena AB, Stena Line’s mother, almost agreed that the financing plan was also ahead, but then Stena’s business model collapsed. According to Morgan, the shipping company wanted to offer cruises in Asia with the “global dream”. But due to China’s no-spreading coronavirus policy, among other things, it is uncertain when cruises will be possible there again.
An old acquaintance of Wismar once again shares the Asian cruise market
“The exact reason that broke the camel’s back and ultimately led to the rejection: Morgan always said they wanted to buy a shipping company in Asia that consisted of Dream Cruises and three ships,” Morgan said on NDRMV Live. One of the ships was recently chartered by another shipping company. The owner of this shipping company is an old acquaintance of Wismar: Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Lim Kok Tai, former owner of MV Shipyards. According to Morgan, one of the three ships was no longer available as a result, and a new competition unexpectedly appeared in the Asian market. “The reduced number of ships as well as the competitive situation thereafter led to the fact that the Supervisory Board of the interested party decided on Thursday to cancel the project, and notified the federal government on Friday and Saturday also me and everyone involved,” Morgan continued.
Is the former shipyard owner buying the ship cheaper?
Morgan lamented the development that had already taken place “in very advanced conversations with the federal, state, and build-time funders.” “I’m sure that with the support of the federal and state governments, we would have had the financing for the construction – after all, a loan of about three-quarters of a billion euros that we made there,” Morgan continued. How to proceed on the ship “a difficult question”. There are still two interested parties. But they want the ship, which is about 80 percent complete and more than 340 meters long, to finish elsewhere. “One of them is Tan Sri Lim Kuk Tae.” Morgan sees good chances that the billionaire will call Wismar again to buy the ship at a lower price.
A setback for the employees of the transport company
Stena’s cancellation is a setback for employees. 1,500 shipbuilders are still in the carrier, and they hope to extend. In fact, the state parliament’s finance committee wanted to make a decision on Wednesday. Nearly 1,500 employees earn only 80 percent of their actual income for three months. Insolvency administrators, Economy Minister Reinhard Mayer (SPD), Wismar Mayor Thomas Beyer (SPD), IG Metall and the Business Council still want to work for an extended carrier.
According to Meyer, however, the planned extension of the carrier is still uncertain, and will expire at the end of June. Mayer made it clear that he expects more federal support. The federal government also needs specialists: “I suppose we’ll talk afterwards about what it means to extend the remittance company.”
Less money for suppliers and other creditors?
The fact that the insolvency official has to stay on board should also affect creditors – especially the supplier companies involved in the construction. At a meeting of creditors about two weeks ago, Morgan said that the bankruptcy property that can be distributed to creditors largely depends on whether the cruise ship can be completed and sold.
In Wismar, the Kiel Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyard is interested in taking over parts of the site. But observers believe that will likely lead to new hires within two years at the earliest. After all, depending on the status of the application, it is possible to secure jobs for 900 to 1500 employees. In Rostock, the federal government is still interested in the Navy and also wants to take over the staff. According to Morgan, the two interested parties are “in final talks.” The insolvency manager is sure: “There will be a future for shipbuilding in Wismar.”
Many employees at Wismar have been disappointed that there will probably be no new work on site before 2024. Hardly anyone can imagine staying at a moving company for that long.