It should be the world’s largest cruise ships with space for around 9000 passengers in 2500 cabins and 2200 crew members: Global Dream One and Global Dream Two, built at the MV shipyards in Rostock-Warnemünde and Wismar. Then, at the beginning of the year, the Malaysian cruise ship operator and shipyard owner Lim Kok Thay and his group of companies Genting Hong Kong went bankrupt. Since then, insolvency administrator Christoph Morgen has been looking for buyers for the two ships, which are at very different structural stages.
After weeks of standstill, a timetable is now emerging. According to WELT information, the insolvency administrator Morgen first wants to sell the second cruise ship, which is currently in the building dock at the Rostock-Warnemünde shipyard. “Global Dream Two’s components and partial hull are for sale,” Morgen said. Components are machine parts as well as technical systems and equipment, some of which are located on the shipyard premises.
The partial hull means the huge steel tub of the 341 meter long new building. The steel is likely to be sold at scrap value, with steel dealers in particular likely to be the buyers. It is considered unlikely that an interested party will build a finished ship from it. This number helps to show the dimension: Around 200 million euros went into the construction of the Global Dream Two before the bankruptcy. The estimated total price of the finished cruise giant would have been around 1.5 billion euros.
Pressure for a solution could come from the federal government. The federal government wants to buy the Rostock site of the MV shipyards as a repair shop for the navy and ensure the repair of naval ships there on its own, as the Ministry of Defense said. There is no timetable for this yet. However, the hull of the Global Dream Two would have to have left the site beforehand.
The situation is completely different with the first ship of the series that was once planned as a series for the former cruise line Dream Cruises. Global Dream One is located in the largest hall at the shipyard in Wismar. It is about 80 percent complete, has largely been painted and looks like a seaworthy cruise ship. Essentially, the interior design is still missing, including the cabins, which should be significantly larger than usual.
Insolvency administrator Morgen has not yet found a regular buyer, but apparently he has not given up the search. “An auction of the Global Dream One has not been decided,” said Morgen. The lawyer contradicts speculation that an auction is imminent and that Global Dream One could ultimately be sold to a bidder at scrap value.
Most recently there was contact with the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg. It is possible that the buoyant and seaworthy ship will be relocated to the Ems and built by Meyer. However, it needs a buyer for this. The family company Stena AB from Sweden had shown interest for a short time and pursued plans for its own cruise line in the Asian market. But the operator of ferries and passenger ships in Scandinavia jumped out again.
One reason for this could be the resurgence of entrepreneur Lim Kok Thay. The former Genting boss has founded a new cruise line in Singapore and rented a first ship. His goal is to primarily appeal to Chinese tourists with the cruise ships that have been expanded into casinos and amusement parks. However, cruises in Asia are still hardly possible without restrictions because there are restrictions in the ports and in some cities in China due to the corona pandemic. At the latest in the event of a bidding process for Global Dream One, Lim Kok Thay and his shipping company could return to Germany.
A certain time pressure for the insolvency administrator arises from the sale of the shipyard in Wismar to the submarine manufacturer Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. “It was agreed with TKMS that the insolvency administration can use the Wismar shipyard hall for Global Dream One until the end of 2023 and the shipyard’s equipment quay until the end of 2024,” said Morgen. Until then, it is important to find a buyer. After that, ThyssenKrupp’s naval unit wants to build military ships there. This leaves a good two years to finish building the Global Dream One at the location or to move it to another shipyard – or to sell it.
A price for a new building of around 1.5 billion euros has also been quoted for Global Dream One. The Genting Group had invested around 600 million euros in the new building. The largest lenders on the German side are the KfW banking group, guarantees from Euler Hermes and the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Asia-based banks are said to be among other creditors. Decisions by the creditors’ meeting on the next steps are still pending.
“Everything on shares” is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.