In the last few days the Palumbo Group has signed an agreement to rent the Mondomarine shipyard for a six month period. The agreement also allows for nine previous Mondomarine workers to be reinstated out of the 57 in Savona and 33 at Cantiere di Pisa that still await to learn their fates.

The agreement was reached after a meeting between Palumbo, the commissioners of the Bankruptcy Court, trade union officials and the Savona Port Authority. This is a positive step in the whole Mondomarine financial crisis and it will potential see a restart of work in Savona with the nine workers.

The next stage will see the Mondomarine assets being put up for sale at an auction and Palumbo is hopeful that it can acquire these to develop operations in Savona. The auction, however, will allow other interested parties to submit bids to buy the assets so a Palumbo takeover cannot be assumed at this stage.

There remains much to be clarified and until the auction is performed and a new owner of the assets agreed the exact future of the Mondomarine yard and workforce continues to be uncertain.

There are also issues over some €30m which were paid as down payments on new yachts to be built by Mondomarine. The exact whereabout of this is reportedly unknown at present. This is understood to have been an factor which led to the raids last week by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (financial police) at Mondomarine offices in Milan, Savona and Pisa. A further issue is that Alessandra Falciai, the owner of Mondomarine is also said to be the president of a local financial institution.

The Court hearing about Mondomarine’s bankruptcy is scheduled in Savona for December 19, 2017. Following this the Savona Port Authority will take a decision of December 20, regarding the concession for Palumbo and its rental agreement. This decision will depend on the result of the Bankruptcy Court hearing.