MSC Cruises and STX France are pleased to announce the conclusion of the legal process that finalizes the order of a new 'Fantasia' class cruise ship (technically called U32), the 12th in the MSC Cruises fleet.
The process began on Monday 1st March with the signature of a Letter of Intent but, given the various legal and financial interlocutors involved, took some time to complete.
An important factor in the success of the project was the financial backing provided by French financial institutions, and especially by Coface, the French Export Credit Agency, making it possible for the vessel to be delivered as required by MSC Cruises by the end of spring 2012.
"We are very pleased that this important contract with MSC is now confirmed," said Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of STX France, "and we look forward to continuing the long-standing relationship between the teams of MSC Cruises and STX France for the successful delivery of this magnificent vessel".
Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, added: "We are delighted at the confirmation of this important investment, a sign of the success of our ambitious growth strategy, and we would like to thank all those who have made it possible. Together with STX France, we are now keen to focus our energies on further enhancing MSC Cruises' leading positioning within the world's cruise industry. MSC Fantastica will build on the success of the 'Fantasia' prototype, appreciated by more and more guests as unique its class thanks to innovate features like the MSC Yacht Club, the ship within a ship offering unprecedented levels of privacy and personalized service."
MSC Cruises currently has the most modern fleet in the world (fleets of four ships or more), comprising eleven ships: MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia (the largest ships ever built for a European ship owner), MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. MSC Magnifica, the newest ship in the fleet, was launched in March 2010. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, North America and Canada, South America, the Indian Ocean and South and West Africa. MSC Cruises is the only company in the world to receive the "6 Golden Pearls" award from the Bureau Veritas in recognition of its high level of quality management and environmental protection. MSC has also achieved ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification for the quality and food safety of all aspects of its catering, both onshore and onboard. MSC Cruises cares about the welfare of children, and as a responsible market leader believes in making a positive impact in the regions where it operates. To this end, the company recently forged a partnership with UNICEF to fund a community project aimed at providing disadvantaged children in Brazil with a quality education.
STX Europe AS is an international shipbuilding group which aims to be the leading builder of cruise and offshore vessels. The group has a strong position in terms of developing state-of-the-art concepts, technology, processes and products for customers around the world. STX Europe AS comprises 15 shipyards in Finland, France, Norway, Romania, Brazil and Vietnam. STX Europe has approx. 16 000 employees. STX Europe's principal shareholder, the international industrial group STX, has approximately. 51 000 employees and aims to be a global top player in its core areas; shipping and trade, shipbuilding and machineries, plant and construction, and energy.
MSC Cruises: Carlotta Nicola, Corporate Press and Public Relations Manager - +41 (0)22 703 87 15 - E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
STX France SA: Eric Breux, Public relations & Communication SVP - +33(0)2 51 10 90 57 - E-mail: email@example.com
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)