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Wierzbowski Eversheds advises on restructuring of Gdańsk Shipyard

  • Poland


    On 22 July 2009, the European Commission approved state aid given to the Gdańsk Shipyard. The precedent-setting decision ended an investigation that lasted over 4 years.

    The EC decision means that aid granted to the shipyard in recent years has been found to be compliant with the common market, and thus the shipyard will not have to return the funds received and face bankruptcy. The public aid for the shipyard approved by the EC has a nominal value of EUR 251 million, including aid received by the shipyard since Poland joined the European Union in 2004 (EUR 94 million) as well as future financial support in the form of a loan, capital increase and export guarantees.

    The European Commission also accepted the restructuring plan for the shipyard, finding that it is in line with the requirements of EC Guidelines on rescue and restructuring aid.

    Krzysztof Feluch, who has been a partner at Wierzbowski Eversheds since January 2009, advised the majority shareholder of the shipyard, ISD Stocznia, in preparing the restructuring plan and in negotiations with the Polish government and the European Commission.

    Commenting on the EC decision, Feluch said: “We had the pleasure of advising on this complex project which resulted not only in approval of the restructuring plan and the state aid received so far, but also obtaining additional financial assistance for the Gdańsk Shipyard and production guarantees from the Polish Export Credit Insurance Corporation. This is the only Polish shipyard which has succeeded in obtaining EC approval for this type of support.”

    The restructuring plan also calls for diversification of the shipyard’s operations. In addition to ships, the Gdańsk Shipyard will also build steel structures and other products. A new factory will be built on the shipyard grounds for production of towers for wind turbines.

    Under the restructuring plan, compensatory measures have been imposed on the shipyard. For a period of 10 years the production level may not exceed compensated gross tonnage of 100,000 annually and it may use only a single slipway or other launching facility.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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