“The investment plan presented by Brittany Ferries is an integral part of the solution,” Agnès Pannier-Runacher’s cabinet indicated on Wednesday to Le Télégramme, in reaction to the announcement the day before of the leasing of two new vessels with hybrid propulsion (LNG and electricity).
The entourage of the Minister Delegate in charge of Industry welcomed “the renewal and greening of the fleet, which will reduce CO2 emissions”. But to ensure funding, an additional effort will be necessary. “New exceptional measures are under consideration,” said Bercy, who in recent months had been rather discreet on this issue. They will therefore be added to those already taken to compensate for the fall in activity linked to Brexit and the health crisis, namely “partial activity (more than € 20 million covered by the State to date), place of a State guaranteed loan (PGE) for 117 M €, deferral of charges, coverage of social charges on the salaries of seafarers for the 2021 financial year (7 M €) and assistance for the management of fixed costs (10 M €) ”.
“Agreement in principle” of the Brussels Commission
The ministry adds that “an agreement in principle” has been reached with the Brussels Commission, competent to validate the compliance of aid with the rules of the European internal market, even if “discussions are still underway on the precise modalities”.
In the spring, Annick Girardin, Minister of the Sea, mentioned the 80% refinancing of the EMP. But “all partners must work to put these efforts in place”, underlines the cabinet of Agnès Pannier-Runacher, alluding to the Brittany and Normandy regions, which, owners of three quarters of the semi-public companies to which Brittany Ferries rents the ships it operates, are the group’s real backers.
The subject of a recapitalization, mentioned by sources familiar with the matter, is sensitive because of its impact on the balance of power between agricultural interests and other actors, but could be justified by the scale of the financing needs. .
Preserving jobs? ” A priority “
This week, Jean-Marc Roué, chairman of the supervisory board of BAI, indicated on BFMTV that the “covid debt” reached “almost 200 M €” of loans, contracted with the State, the BPI and Regions. According to the latest accounts published by the company, at the end of 2019 it had € 144 million in equity, including 108 million in reserves, partly held in the form of liquidity (57 million) and its debts amounted to 136 million, before, therefore, Brexit and health crisis. BAI then employed 1,915 flight crew and 518 sedentary personnel. Jobs whose preservation is a “priority”, indicates the office of the Minister Delegate.
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