A Russian group is the only bidder in the privatisation process of the Viana do Castelo naval shipyard, the largest ship construction and repair enterprise in Portugal.
After the Brazilian group Rio Nave pulled out of the bidding race due to delays in the privatisation process, it is now an unrivalled war for Russian group RSI Trading – or so it seems.
The European Commission has raised questions about government credit lines to the tune of €180 million to help the shipyard and is yet to authorise conclusion of the privatisation deal.
For this reason, the Rio Nave group said it was no longer interested in being in the race for the privatisation of the shipyard, a source from the government told Lusa news agency.
The sale of the shipyard, located in the north of Portugal, has been suspended since December, but it is the government’s intention that the privatisation process resumes soon in order to safeguard the jobs of 625 people currently working at the site.
RSI Trading is part of the Russian Financial Corporation of billionaire Andrei Kissilov and the Viana naval shipyard would represent an important step in the group’s expansion plans.