SEMIDEP call for projects
SEMIDEP, a semi-public company in charge of the development of the La Ciotat shipyards, has launched a call for projects for the exploitation of La Ciotat's great shape over the next three years. Already a user for more than ten years, the ciotaden Compositeworks, specialized in superyacht, is a candidate, as are several other companies, such as Monaco Marine and the German Blohm+Voss.
Blohm & Voss, a heavyweight yacht, in difficulty
In a press release, Ben Mennem, the English founder and president of Compositeworks, is alarmed by the rumour that the German company Blohm+Voss is the winner: "Although Blohm+Voss is a major name in commercial and military shipbuilding, the company - which was acquired in January 2012 by an English investment fund, Star Capital, then sold in February 2016 to a Dutch financial holding company - has seen the performance of its yachting activity fall with cumulative losses of 16 million euros over the last 3 years (Source: Dun & Bradstreet). No boats have been built or ordered since its purchase and 120 of its German employees are now worried about their jobs. According to the Financial Times, Star Capital even announced that it would sell the company as soon as it was acquired."
Development or relocation
Ben Mennem is sounding the alarm. Given the company's infrastructure needs, she would have to move if she was not selected:"After 20 years of investment on this site and a relationship of trust with Semidep, we would experience this choice as a betrayal, an amputation of our activity and a halt to all our development projects at La Ciotat. Compositeworks is committed to having a maximum occupation of great form, with a mobilizable investment of 3.4 million euros in 3 years and 20 million in 5 years, and 400 direct indirect jobs planned (including 80 jobs for the return to employment) in the next 3 years. An indispensable space for Compositeworks which already lacks space and would otherwise be obliged to develop outside the metropolitan territory. "
SEMIDEP's response on 29 June
The commission will render its verdict on 29 June. Meanwhile, she is surprised at Compositeworks' statement and assures that no decision has yet been taken.