Virtu Finance plc - Update on Operations

On 12 June 2020, Virtu Finance plc issued an announcement providing a further update on its operations going forward after the lifting of ‘COVID-19’-related travel restrictions that are expected to come into place on 1 July 2020. In this respect, Virtu explained that subject to any further directives which may be issued by competent authorities, the ‘M/V Saint John Paul II’ will resume daily operations servicing the Malta-Sicily route as from 1 July 2020. In the meantime, the ferry will continue with the carriage of freight and occasional repatriation voyages.

Upon resumption of operations, the passenger carrying capacity of the ‘M/V Saint John Paul II’ will be reduced so as to maintain adherence to recommended social distancing guidelines. These and other measures will be implemented on board as well as during embarkation and disembarkation. Meanwhile, as previously announced, following the termination of the contract for the lease of ‘M/V Maria Dolores’ operating the Spain-Morocco route, Virtu is in receipt of enquiries from other third party operators potentially interested in chartering the vessel, and discussions have already commenced with a view to resume operations at the opportune moment. On the other hand, the charterer of the ‘M/V Jean de la Valette’ operating the Trinidad-Tobago route has, with effect from 25 March 2020, exercised the option to extend the term of the charter party agreement by a further six months to 30 December 2020.

Virtu concluded by saying that it will continue monitoring the ongoing situations in Malta, Italy and all other jurisdictions in which its fleet operates, and will keep the market duly updated on developments relative to its operations. Furthermore, Virtu will also avail itself of the two-month extension granted by the regulatory authority for the publication of the forthcoming Financial Analysis Summary (“FAS”) update. This is now expected to be published by the end of August 2020 as the two month extension for the publication of the FAS will enable Virtu to obtain a greater degree of visibility as to likely market conditions after travel restrictions are lifted.