BERLIN (AP) — Germany blames Malaysia-based owner Genting Group for the collapse of its shipyard business, saying the conglomerate has refused to contribute to the government’s bailout plan.
Northeast Germany’s MV Werchten shipyard, which Genting acquired in 2016, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after running into financial trouble over the construction of a large cruise liner.
The German government has previously said it was willing to discuss a €600 million ($678 million) rescue plan that would protect 1,900 jobs.
But German officials have revealed they want Genting, which is majority-owned by Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Tai, to contribute at least 10% to the rescue effort.
“The German government has done everything possible to prevent MV Werften from going bankrupt and thereby save jobs,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told the German news agency dpa. “But the owner rejected our offer of help. Bankruptcy filing is the result.”
Habeck called this “bitter news” for employees in the economically depressed Mecklenburg province of Western Pomerania.
Dpa quoted him as saying that federal and state governments will continue to discuss the shipyard’s future in the coming weeks.
Genting Hong Kong, a member of the Genting Group and direct owner of the shipyard, is struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its shipping business.
The company’s financial difficulties have also caused another company-owned German shipbuilder, Lloyd Werft of Bremerhaven, to file for bankruptcy.