As from the next assembly due to be held in Rome next September Mario Mattioli will be officially elected as the new chairman of the Italian shipowners association. Mattioli heads the family-owned company Cafima operating in the LPG shipping market through Synergas which owns eight gas carriers, Augusta Offshore operating 17 units (AHTS, PSV, AHT and tugs) and with the towage company Capieci which operates a fleet of seven harbour tugs servicing the ports of Messina and Milazzo in southern Italy.
Yesterday the members of Confitarma had a board meeting where the CEO of Cafima group emerged with a large majority of the votes (85%) as the sole name designated for the role of chairman thus succeeding Emanuele Grimaldi, head of Naples-based Grimaldi Group. Four shipowners mainly based in Genoa (one of those is believed to be Pillarstone-controlled Premuda) did not vote in favour of Mattioli since they would have preferred to postpone the designation after the summer and in the meantime try to find another potential nomination.
This disagreement was the last sign of the troubled waters inside the Italian shipping association which lost some important members (such as d’Amico Group, Evergreen-controlled Italia Marittima, Ignazio Messina & Co and Grandi Navi Veloci) after the election of the new board appointed last June 20. Among the reasons why the defectors decided to leave Confitarma is Mattioli’s position is considered too close to the port and towage sectors (Messina and GNV), lack of cohesion and independence (d’Amico) and scarce political clout and lobbying activity (Italia Marittima). Besides there has re-emerged rivalry between Neapolitan owners in southern Italy and others in the northern city of Genoa, who are increasingly allied to Gianluigi Aponte’s MSC which owns GNV and is expected to become a 49% shareholder of Messina Group in September.