International finance secures giant German newbuilds

MV group and Global Class development secured. MV group and Global Class development secured.

Continued construction of two giant 204,000gt Global Class cruise ships and the strengthening of long-term further development at German shipbuilding group MV Werften has been secured by an international financing support package worth €2.6 billion, writes Tom Todd.

MV Werften was created in 2016 by the Malaysian-based Genting Group through the amalgamation of three shipyards in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund. Genting bought the former Nordic yards for €230 million to create a cruise ship construction centre and build its own ships to its own timetable.

That was because of frustration over long delivery lead times for its cruise shipping subsidiaries. Genting said at the time it was “a logical step and strategically important that we acquire shipyards that can build our cruise ships on a timely basis and in a more cost effective manner” than others. Ownership would “free the company from delivery timing and pricing uncertainties” at a time when order books are full, Genting declared.

The new owners say a total of around €840million have been invested in the development of MV Werften and that they have more than doubled the workforce since they took over. They have been supported since the beginning as “a reliable partner” by the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the MV Werften are located.

Now an international consortium led by KfW IPEX-Bank has put together a package totalling €2.6 billion to support financing of the  first two Global Class ships. That follows guarantees of financing support totalling €750 million from Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

In addition to KfW IPEX-Bank, the consortium includes BNP Paribas, Citibank, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse and DNB. A substantial portion of the loan amount is being further syndicated to more than ten other German and international banks, MV Werften reported.

Construction of the first Global Class newbuilds is already well advanced. MV Werften spokeswoman Susanne Meyer told The Motorship the first ship is for delivery to Genting's Dream Cruises late 2020 or early 2021 while the second is scheduled for early 2022. Meyer said that each of the two 342 x 46m newbuilds was getting an ABB technology package and six MAN 48/60CR engines with a combined output of 96,000 kW.

"We are creating something truly great – MV’s first giant", said MVW CEO Peter Fetten at the Rostock keel-laying of the Global Class last September.

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