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shipping company CMA CGM

France-based container shipping company CMA CGM has acquired the controlling stake of around 78.07% of all Neptune Orient Lines’ (NOL) shares from its majority shareholders, led by Singapore Government investment arm Temasek Holdings for around $2.5bn.

Singapore’s container shipping company NOL has presence across over 80 countries. The company’s liner shipping unit APL conducts the main business of the group.

With the acquisition, CMA CGM aims to improve its position in the container shipping industry with a capacity of almost 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a market share of 11.7%, a fleet of 540 vessels, and a combined annual turnover of around $21bn, according to joc.com.

“The combination of NOL and CMA CGM will create a leading shipping company that delivers reliable and efficient service to its customers.”

Temasek and its affiliates bade tender for all of their shares in acceptance of the offer, which is now fully unconditional. The closing date for the rest of the shareholders to accept the offer of S$1.30 ($0.96) per share is next month.

Temasek Holdings portfolio management group joint head Tan Chong Lee said: “We are supportive of this transaction as it presents NOL with an opportunity to join a leading player with an extensive global presence and solid operational track record.

Following the completion of the deal, CMA CGM plans to delist and privatise NOL. CMA CGM also has reconstructed NOL’s board of directors.

The CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saadé will be the chairman of the board and NOL chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung will be one of the members.

Recently, Temasek announced that it would form a joint venture company with CMA CGM to lease and operate four container berths in the port of Singapore.

Once formed, 49% and 51% of the proposed joint venture will be owned by CMA CGM and Temasek respectively. Currently, Temasek owns terminal operator PSA International.

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