The South Korea-based STX Group is reported to be considering selling its European shipbuilding interests, including its yards in Finland and France.

The Group has seen shrinking earnings and a build-up of debt as it has been hit by a global slowdown in shipbuilding, including fewer cruise ship orders.

If sold, it would mean STX Finland and France would see new owners again, following a series of ownership changes over recent decades. The French state owns a third of STX France.

STX Finland, with shipyards in Turku, Rauma and Helsinki, lost a recent bid to build another Oasis-class ship for Royal Caribbean, for lack of government support, but is building two ships for TUI Cruises.

STX France, which has yards in Saint Nazaire and Lorient, won the Oasis-order, allegedly because of better financing, but would otherwise have seen its orderbook end this year with the delivery of the Europa 2 to Hapag-Lloyd, following the Preziosa to MCS Cruises earlier this spring.