ANNOUNCEMENT 02 Jun 2012In June 2012, the government of Germany announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Community guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty, called "Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines"
letter from the EC to Germany - Brussels 11.07.2012 c(2012) 4646 final
On 2 June 2012, Germany notified the EC to rescue the P+S Werften GmbH through a state guarantee. P+S Werften GmbH is a shipyard existing since 2010 and the result of a merger between "Peene-Werft GmbH" and "Volkswerft Stralsund GmbH"
The guarantee is a 100 % state guarantee of the Land "Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (50% is counter-guaranteed by the Federal State) to back a loan of EUR 152.4 mio coming from the LFI (Landesförderinstitut Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). The amount is split into different tranches. The first tranche EUR 19 mio was carried out on 4 June 2012. The interest rate is 11.67 % but can be lowered retroactively.
Such a contribution by the Statecan be considered 'as a favouring of certain undertakings'article 107(1) TFEU. Nevertheless, the favouring can be justified under article 107(3b) TFEU: a non-compliances with article 107(1) is allowed with respect to"remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member state".
Germany states that the shipyard is considered to be in difficulty according to the "Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines" Article 10 (c) "fulfils the criteria under its domestic law for being the subject of collective insolvency proceedings" (page 5 of the EC letter to Germany - Brussels 11.07.2012 c(2012) 4646 final. P+S Werften is subject of collective insolvency proceedings according to par. 17 and 18 of the German Insolvency Code ("Insolvenzordnung").
The EC confirms a potential trade distortion, arguing: " When aid granted by a Member State strengthens the position of an undertaking compared to other undertakings competing in intra-Union trade, the latter must be regarded as affected by that aid. Indeed there is trade between Member States in the market for ships." (par. 11) Hence, "The measure is apt to improve the competitive position of the beneficiary in relation to its competitors in the internal market and consequently distorts or threatens to distort competition and affect trade between the Member states" (par. 11, letter from the EC to Germany - Brussels 11.07.2012 c(2012) 4646 final)
The EC concludes "the rescue aid to P+S Werften consisting of a guarantee backing a loan of EUR 152.4 million is compatible with the internal market under Article 107(3)(c) TFEU." A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.