French shipping giant CMA CGM said it had struck a preliminary agreement to acquire a majority stake in French delivery firm Colis Prive, as it continues to build up its logistics business.
CMA CGM is to buy 51% of Colis Prive from current owner Hopps Group and will have an option of increasing its stake further. The value of the planned transaction was not disclosed.
Marseille-based CMA CGM has been investing in non-maritime services, similar to its container shipping rivals. After buying Swiss logistics group CEVA Logistics in 2019, it agreed late last year to acquire supply chain activities from Ingram Micro in a deal valued at about $3 billion.
Among CMA CGM’s main shipping competitors, Maersk announced last month a $3.6 billion deal to buy Hong Kong-based LF Logistics, while Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is in talks to buy the African logistics unit of French conglomerate Bollore for 5.7 billion euros ($6.37 billion).
Colis Prive, which in 2021 generated sales of around 270 million euros and core earnings of 27 million euros, delivers parcels for E-commerce clients to homes and pick-up points, and last year moved into the Belgian and Luxembourg markets.
“The last mile is a little bit the missing piece for us to offer a complete solution,” Mathieu Friedberg, chief executive of CMA CGM’s logistics division CEVA, told Reuters.
The deal reflected the growth of E-commerce, whose importance expanded significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, and CMA CGM hoped to boost Colis Prive’s international expansion, starting with its planned entry in the Dutch market this year, added Friedberg.
Colis Prive had been due to merge with Dee Tech, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC), with a view to listing on the Paris stock market this year.
However, the partners announced on Friday that they had abandoned the project.
Hopps will retain 39% of Colis Prive following the deal with CMA CGM, with online retail giant Amazon holding the remaining share.
CMA CGM’s investments have been supported by a surge in earnings as the pandemic has led to high ocean freight rates and saturated vessel capacity.