Portugal to Start Shipyard Sale Soon: Government

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Portuguese government may start a tender to sell state-controlled shipyard Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo SA within 45 days, an official at the Defense Ministry said today.

A final decision may take place two months after the offers are received, said the official, who declined to be named, in line with his ministry’s policy.

The government has received three written expressions of interest and three requests for information about the shipbuilder, the official said, adding that the Finance Ministry will decide on the final terms of the sale.

Portugal is selling assets to comply with the terms of a $103 billion bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Portugal plans to find a shareholder for the shipyard who will guarantee the company’s future, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said today. The shipbuilder, based in the town of Viana do Castelo, on the country’s northwest coast, builds and repairs medium-sized ships and has about 670 employees.

The company is “not sustainable” at the moment, he said in comments to reporters in Lisbon. 

“We hope the privatization will take place as soon as possible,” said Passos Coelho. (Bloomberg)
 

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