The Latest: Leaders of France, Italy announce shipyard deal

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the negotiations between France and Italy over ownership of France's STX shipyard (all times local):

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7:35 p.m.

The leaders of French and Italy have announced a deal allowing Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to take control of France's STX shipyard.

The deal announced Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking alongside Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni in the French city of Lyon, ends a weekslong dispute between the two countries.

The president's office says the deal effectively gives Fincantieri a 51 percent stake in the key shipyard, which is located on the Atlantic coast in Saint-Nazaire, on the Atlantic coast.

The state-controlled shipbuilder will pay 60 million euros ($70.5 million) to own 50 percent of STX. The president's office says France will lend Fincantieri another 1 percent stake to give the Italian group operational control.

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The mechanism allows France to take back control of its shares if the French government determines Fincantieri is not complying with its commitments.

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2:35 p.m.

France's Le Monde newspaper is reporting that both the Italian and French governments have agreed on a deal giving Italy's state-controlled Fincantieri a 51 percent stake in France's STX shipyard.

Under the deal Le Monde described Wednesday without identifying its sources, Fincantieri would formally own a 50 percent stake and the French state would loan it an additional 1 percent stake to give the Italian group operational control.

This mechanism would allow France to take control back, if needed.

The remaining stake would be in the French hands, mostly the government and the state-owned Naval Group.

Fincantieri shares were up 1.8 percent in late morning trading on expectations of the deal.

In July, the French government temporarily nationalized the shipyard to prevent Fincantieri from taking it over and to give itself time to negotiate more guarantees.

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12:45 p.m.

The French and Italian governments are confident an agreement will be announced Wednesday allowing Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to take control of a key French shipyard.

France had this summer blocked the takeover of the shipyard STX, citing concerns about jobs but annoying the Italian government. The sides then said they hoped to reach a deal to combine forces in shipbuilding to create a European champion.

French Finance minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters Wednesday he hopes to be "on the path of a shipbuilding world giant."

The announcement is expected Wednesday when French President Macron meets Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.

Le Monde newspaper reports, without identifying sources, both governments agreed on a deal giving Fincantieri a 51 percent stake in STX, with France allowed to take control back if needed.