French containerline CMA CGM is carrying out due diligence with a view to taking over Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), according to Bloomberg.
The business newswire says Maersk is also in discussions to take over NOL, which runs containerline APL.
Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and majority shareholder in NOL, put its NOL stake up for sale earlier this year.
Bloomberg claims CMA CGM has already put in a preliminary offer for NOL. The Singapore company has a market value of $2.7bn.
Amid intense consolidation speculation within the container trades, CMA CGM’s acquisition of NOL would consolidate its third position place in the global liner league, behind MSC and Maersk. It would otherwise risk losing third spot to a combined China entry if, as expected, China Shipping and Cosco initiate a merger in the coming weeks.