With hours until a deadline is set to elapse for France’s CMA CGM to buy out Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Reuters is reporting the French boxline will take a two thirds stake in NOL today, which would then trigger an automatic buyout of the remaining shares.
NOL suspended its shares this morning. Today is the final day of an exclusivity agreement signed over a possible sale between NOL and CMA CGM. Last week it was revealed CMA CGM had fixed the funding necessary for the takeover.
NOL’s main shareholder, sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings, has been keen to offload its stake in the shipping line which controls boxline APL for a long time.
Together, CMA CGM and APL would close the gap with the top two containerlines Maersk and MSC. The merger would also be another nail in the coffin for the current set up of container alliances – APL likely leaving the G6 Alliance.