CMA CGM Executives Take Top Posts at NOL
As CMA CGM moves towards full ownership of Neptune Orient Lines, it has reconstituted NOL's board to include several CMA representatives and emplaced a new CEO and CFO from the ranks of the French line's executives.
NOL's board named CMA's Group SVP of Asia-Europe Nicolas Sartini as NOL Chief Executive Officer (replacing Ng Yat Chung) and VP of corporate control Serge Corbel as NOL Chief Financial Officer. Ng, Corbel and Sartini are also members of the reconstituted 10-member NOL Board.
Additionally, CMA CGM vice chairman Rodolphe Saadé has succeeded Kwa Chong Seng as chairman of NOL. “Moving forward, NOL will benefit greatly from the depth and breadth of Rodolphe’s experience.” said Kwa. "His leadership will bring fresh perspectives to help navigate our container shipping line, APL, through uncharted waters ahead.” Saadé thanked him for his service and noted the importance of APL to CMA's growth in the Pacific.
CMA's acquisition of NOL has been in the works since last December, and with regulatory approvals in hand it is moving to consolidate its ownership of outstanding shares and delist the company. As of June 10 it was in possession of 78 percent, nearing the required 90 percent threshold.
APL has operated at a loss for years, and majority shareholder Temasek had been publicly looking for an exit strategy. The acquisition comes during a period of record low container rates on major routes, and NOL / APL executives said that they hoped CMA's scale would help them gain new efficiencies to improve competitiveness.