By L. Karageorgos
Grimaldi group managing director Emanuele Grimaldi said his company wants to acquire a controlling share of Hellenic Seaways (HSW) from Attica group, otherwise it wants the latter to buy off the Italian shipping multinational.
"Either they'll give us HSW, or they'll buy our share. However, because they don't have cash, I believe they'll give us ships and routes," the influential Italian shipping executive said.
Grimaldi, who recently stepped down as president of the Italian Shipowners’ Association (Confitarma), made the statement to reporters at 21st Euromed Convention in Sardinia.
Moreover, he stressed that an "intertwined" coastal shipping sector in half of the southern European Mediterranean has no chance of approval by the EU competition authorities.
"We can't all be together - Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, ANEK though the consortium it has with Super Fast Ferries, and Minoan Group and Grimaldi Lines through HSW," he emphasized.
His comments come after a "corporate brawl" that was concluded last August left Attica group with 50.3 percent of HSW's shares - purchased from Piraeus Bank and scattered shareholders - while leaving Grimaldi with 48.53 percent of the shares. The development essentially doomed Grimaldi group's attempt to acquire the Greek ferry boat operator.