Yildirim looks to sell its 24% stake in CMA CGM

Turkey’s Yildirim Holding has hired China Citic Bank Corp to sell its 24% stake in the world’s third largest containerline, CMA CGM. Money raised from the sale will go on Yildirim’s planned acquisition of Ports America.

Yildirim bought into CMA CGM when the French line found itself in a severely cash strapped position in the wake of the global financial crisis. Yildirim paid a total of $600m six years ago for its 24% stake. The stake is now valued at between $2.5bn to $3bn.

Yildirim had tried to sell its stake back to the Saade family who are the majority owners in CMA CGM two years ago, but the deal failed to go through.

Chairman Yuksel Yildirim told Bloomberg in an interview that his company had set its sights on becoming a top ten global terminal operator by 2025.

Ports America is the largest independent maritime terminal operator on the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts with 42 locations. It is owned by Oaktree Capital Group’s private-equity unit, Highstar Capital.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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