The European Commission will
open a formal investigation into plans by Spanish state holding company SEPI to pay $57 million (10 billion pesetas) to buy a number of shipyards as part of a restructuring plan. "On the basis of the information at its disposal the Commission doubts whether this was a genuine market transaction, but rather a capital injection that could constitute state aid
," the Commission said in a statement.
The Commission noted it had already cleared an aid package for the Juliana and Cadiz shipyards in 1997 on condition they received no further state handouts.