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Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública
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Meeting of the Follow-Up Commission for the Framework Agreement dated on December 16th, 2005 regarding the state-owned shipyards

Press release (SEPI)

The Commission for the Follow-Up of the Framework Agreement between SEPI/IZAR and the trade unions which have representatives in this company -CC.OO., UGT, USTG, CAT, ELA and CIG, dated on December 16th, 2004, has met today for analyzing the workload of the shipyards, as well as the sale process of the assets belonging to the shipbuilding company IZAR Construcciones Navales, S.A. en Liquidación, which is currently being liquidated.

The Commission for the Follow-Up of the Framework Agreement was created and met for the first time on December 16th, 2004. Its purpose is to safeguard the fulfillment and development of the commitments stated in the Framework Agreement regarding the future of the state-owned shipyards, and since it was created it has met six times.

SEPI´s Chairman, Mr. Enrique Martínez Robles has informed about the situation of the workload pertaining each one of the shipyards, singling out the contract signed yesterday with the Venezuelan Navy for the building of 4 oceanic going patrol boats for the purpose of the surveillance and protection of the exclusive economic zone, as well as another 4 patrol boats for the surveillance of the seashore, for the amount of 1,200 Million Euros. The above Contract means for Navantia over 3,700,000 work-hours in production and about 500,000 hours in engineering. The building of these ships will be carried out in the Shipyard located at San Fernando-Puerto Real, providing to the area of the Bay of Cádiz with an important workload until the year 2012.

With regard to the sale process of the assets owned by Izar in Liquidation, SEPI´s Chairman has declared that a total of 11 industrial groups have submitted no-bidding offers for the assets on sale. These bids were opened yesterday before a Public Notary, before the Liquidating Commission, and currently are being analyzed by the independent Advisor for determining whether they met the requirements for being accepted as valid.

At first, it seems possible that 9 offers might met the requirements for being accepted and proceed to the second phase of the process, during which they will be able to have access to more detailed information about the assets. Of these 9 offers, 8 are for individual facilities, and 1 for two facilities. No bid was submitted for all the assets.

The independent Advisor has stated that, besides the 9 bids mentioned above, another 2 were submitted which do not meet important requirements for their being admitted at first as valid. Of these 2 bids, one is for all the assets, while the other is for just one facility.

Once the Advisor finishes the examination of all the bids which were submitted, he will proceed to notify to the 11 Bidders, in case it were necessary, the deficiencies which he might have found, and they will have a 5-day period for correcting them. Once this deadline has elapsed, those Candidates whose bids have been considered valid will be informed about the timetable for having access to the Data Room. This phase might have concluded by Christmas, and since then the deadline for the submission of the bidding offers will be established, and which is possible that will be submitted on the middle of January 2006.

Later, these bids will go through the stipulated authorization stages: SEPI´s Board of Directors, the Consultative Board of Privatizations and the Council of Ministers. As in all the divestment processes, the Parties are bound by formal Confidentiality Agreements, which must be kept until the winning Bid has been announced, during the process final phase.

This sale process, which was begun on July 22nd, 2005, must take place in keeping with that stipulated by the European Union, according to market conditions, through an open, transparent and unconditional procedure.

The sale of these assets has as its basic goal to maintain the activity in all the production facilities, and it is part of the orderly liquidation process of the shipbuilding company IZAR, which was authorized by SEPI´s Board of Directors and by the General Universal Meeting of Shareholders of the shipbuilding company, in keeping with the reorganization plan for the state-owned shipyards agreed on December 16th, 2004 and which was approved by the European Commission, as the only way for preventing their closure. The goal fo the above mentioned plan is to face the shipyards´ dire financial situation and the obligation to repay the aids which were authorized by the previous Government and which were declared incompatible with Community Law.

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