The world’s third-largest container shipping firm CMA CGM said on Friday that it now holds over 78 percent of the shares in Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), bringing it closer to taking the Singapore company private.
Temasek Holdings and its affiliates have sold their shares in NOL to CMA CGM, the French firm said in a statement, the latest step in completing a $2.4-billion deal agreed last year, under which CMA CGM will take total control of the Singapore shipper.
The takeover offer, which received regulatory clearance from China last month, marks CMA CGM’s biggest ever acquisition and comes as container lines seek to cope with a severe market downturn through greater scale. The European Commission gave its approval for the deal at the end of April.
CMA CGM can delist the company once it holds more than a 90-percent stake in it.
In a separate statement NOL said CMA CGM’s vice chairman, Rodolphe Saade, would take over from Kwa Chong Seng as the Singapore firm’s executive chairman. The French group was founded in 1978 by Rodolphe Saade’s father Jacques.