CMA CGM has announced a pre-conditional voluntary general cash offer for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Southeast Asia’s largest container shipping company, subject to the satisfaction of the pre-conditions specified the agreement.
According to the France-based group, the world's third-largest shipping group, NOL’s majority shareholders have "irrevocably undertaken a tender all of their shares in acceptance of the offer".
If the deal gains antitrust approval, CMA CGM will launch an offer at a price of SG$1.30 per share, which represents a 49 per cent premium to NOL’s unaffected share price.
“This transaction will represent a significant milestone in the development of CMA CGM," noted Rodolphe Saadé, vice-chairman of CMA CGM. "Leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies, CMA CGM will further reinforce its position as a leader in global shipping with combined revenue of US$22bn and 563 vessels. By bringing together the know-how of both teams, the enlarged group will be even better positioned to provide premium services to its customers across all markets.
"At a time when the shipping industry is facing strong headwinds, scale is more critical than ever to capitalise on synergies and capture growth opportunities wherever they arise," he added. "I firmly believe CMA CGM will enable NOL to address the industry’s new challenges. We recognise the strategic importance of Singapore as a key hub for the maritime industry and we are committed to reinforcing its regional leadership.”
Ng Yat Chung, CEO of NOL, said: “The combined market presence delivered by the transaction would achieve the scale needed to enhance competitiveness for NOL’s operations and offer a clear and sustainable long term direction for the combined entity. The transaction would enable NOL to grow as part of a larger entity with the resources of the world’s third largest container shipping line.”