ROME – Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group announced the name of their new naval joint venture will be ‘Naviris’ on Wednesday, the day after Fincantieri lashed out at reports that its takeover of French ship yard Chantiers de l’Atlantique faces EU anti-trust opposition.
The new name for the JV was announced after a quarterly steering committee meeting of the 50-50 alliance, which was launched in June and is set to be incorporated by year's end.
The two state-controlled shipbuilding firms aim to use the joint venture to build and market naval vessels, as well share supply chains, research and testing. As part of the deal, France is using an Italian design for its new logistics vessel, while the two yards will work together on upgrading the Horizon frigates jointly built by Italy and France and operated by both countries. There are also plans for the JV to work on a new European Patrol Corvette.
The two yards have promoted the JV as a way to create synergies in Europe’s fractured naval industry to allow it to compete globally, and it came on the heels of Fincantieri’s takeover of France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard — a deal which will allow the two yards to share work on cruise ships.
This month the drive for more synergy appeared be bearing fruit when Fincantieri said that it would be building forward sections for the new French logistics ships.
The four vessels, part of the FLOTLOG (Flotte logistique) program, which are based on the Italian Vulcano design, are being built by a temporary consortium between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group.
Fincantieri said it would build the sections at its Castellammare di Stabia shipyard in southern Italy, with deliveries to Chantiers de l’Atlantique, which it controls, scheduled between 2021 and 2027. The only potential hitch to the cross-border cooperation is the European Union, which is studying the Fincantieri takeover of Chantiers de l’Atlantique for anti-trust violations, and has yet to give a green light.
On Tuesday Fincantieri attacked press reports suggesting the anti-trust probe had been extended, claiming it “strongly disapproves of such rumors, which have also negatively affected its share price today.”
In a statement, Fincantieri said that if the rumors were true, it would “firmly” disapprove of such a decision by the EU. The company challenged reports that the deal would cut the number of cruise ship builders in Europe to two, claiming the real number would be three.
Correction: This story was updated on Nov. 1 to correct the name of the new joint venture.
Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.