CMA CGM offer for NOL goes unconditional as Temasek tenders its shares

CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saade (left) with Nepture Orient Lines chief executive Ng Yat Chung at a press conference on Dec 7, 2015, to announce the buyout.
CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saade (left) with Nepture Orient Lines chief executive Ng Yat Chung at a press conference on Dec 7, 2015, to announce the buyout.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - French shipping giant CMA CGM said on Friday (Jne 10) that its offer for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) is now wholly unconditional after majority shareholders Temasek Holdings and its affiliates tendered all their shares in acceptance of the offer.

Said Temasek's joint head, portfolio management group, Mr Tan Chong Lee: "We are supportive of this transaction as it presents NOL with an opportunity to join a leading player with an extensive global presence and solid operational track record.

"Their complementary strengths will yield mutually beneficial results. We also note and welcome the commitment of CMA CGM to enhance Singapore's position as a key maritime hub and grow Singapore's container throughput volumes."

CMA CGM said it now owns 78.07 per cent of all NOL shares, and confirmed its intention to take NOL private. CMA CGM can delist NOL once it holds more than a 90 per cent stake in it.

It also said it does not intend to increase its offer price of S$1.30 per share in cash. The closing date of the offer has been extended to July 18, 2016, at 5.30 pm.

NOL shareholders who accept the offer will be paid within seven business days after the date of receipt of their valid acceptance.

NOL shares closed at S$1.30 on Thursday.

CMA CGM also announced a change in the composition of NOL's board of directors following the change in control of the Singapore company.

The reconstituted board, comprising ten members, has been appointed with effect from June 9. Its new executive chairman is CMA CGM's vice chairman, Rodolphe Saade, who taked over from Kwa Chong Seng. The French group was founded in 1978 by Mr Saade's father Jacques.

The other members are Nicolas Sartini, Lars Kastrup, Serge Corbel, Ziad Tabet, Mathilde Lemoine, Ng Yat Chung, Kwa Chong Seng, Quek See Tiat and Tan Puay Chiang.