CMA CGM Reaches 98 Percent Ownership of NOL
On Monday, CMA CGM announced that it has closed its voluntary offer for outstanding shares of NOL, and is in possession of about 98 percent of the Singapore-based carrier's share capital.
With much less than the minimum of ten percent of shares outstanding, the Singapore Exchange will suspend trading in NOL. CMA has passed the required threshold allowing it to compel any remaining shareholders to sell; it has initiated the process for compulsory acquisition of the remaining two percent of shares on the market, at the same price offered for the voluntary buyout. Once it has made NOL a wholly-owned private subsidiary, CMA CGM intends to delist NOL from the exchange.
CMA CGM says that adding NOL will give it 12 percent of the global market share, with 18 million TEU per year. It will operate a combined fleet of 540 vessels; in addition, as NOL is centered on the Asia-Pacific trades, CMA CGM expects the acquisition to bolster its strength in a key global market, complementing its existing presence in the Atlantic and on the Asia-Europe route.
In the run-up to the deal, CMA CGM committed to making Singapore its home in Southeast Asia. It is establishing a regional head-office there and is forming a joint venture with Singapore's port operator to use its terminals as a new regional hub. The venture, to be called CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal, will give CMA and NOL the use of four berths at Singapore's modern Pasir Panjang Terminal Phase 3 and 4.
CMA CGM is also making strategic moves in the Caribbean, making Kingston, Jamaica its hub for the region in anticipation of new business from the expanded Panama Canal.
"A widened canal will bring new opportunities for world trade . . . modernization works will allow the group to operate all larger vessels sailing in the area, and make Jamaica a transshipment hub for the whole sub region," CMA CGM director of studies, projects and development Luc Portier said in June.