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MSC seals deal to take 49% stake in Messina

MSC has finally taken a 49% stake in the Ignazio Mesina & C. shipping group, with the deal formally announced by Banca Carige and the NPL management company Amco.

Gianluigi Aponte’s Italian holding company Marinvest and Messina Group have formally signed all the requested conditions which makes MSC the new owner of four ships and a minority stakeholder in the Genoa-based conro operator.

Aponte will invest €25m ($28.5m) for a 49% stake in the Ignazio Messina & C. group and a 52% stake in a new vehicle called RoRo Italia controlling four of Messina’s eight modern conro ships. The vessels set to be 52% controlled by MSC are Jolly Diamante, Jolly Perla, Jolly Titanio and Jolly Cobalto.

Messina had financial exposure of over €500m ($593m), mainly with Banca Carige, related to a fleet renovation plan completed in the last few years, with eight new conro ships built in South Korea by Daewoo and STX shipyards from 2011 to 2015. A large part of these non-performing loans (€324m) were offloaded to Amco, while the remaining part went to the new vehicle, RoRo Italia.

In addition to the fresh capital Aponte will put into the Genoa-based shipping company, the Messina family will put €5m on the table to re-launch the business, which will benefit from several operative synergies between the Italian and the Swiss firms.

The agreement has obtained all the relevant approvals.

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Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.

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