French carrier offers $3.38b to buy out NOL

NOL has received an offer from a French carrier valuing it at $3.38 billion.
NOL has received an offer from a French carrier valuing it at $3.38 billion.PHOTO: ST FILE

Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), one of the pioneering companies in Singapore history, has received an offer from a French carrier valuing it at $3.38 billion.

NOL said yesterday that CMA CGM is offering $1.30 a share in cash. Temasek Holdings, which owns 67 per cent, has agreed to sell its shares. The offer represents a 49 per cent premium to NOL's last unaffected traded share price of 87.5 cents on July 16.

NOL and CMA CGM, the world's third-biggest container shipping firm, had announced last month that they were in talks for the buyout - one of the industry's largest.

The acquisition will allow the privately owned CMA CGM, which plans to delist NOL, to "cement its position among the global leaders in the container shipping industry", said an NOL statement to the Singapore Exchange.

NOL, which was formed in 1968, has been looking for a buyer for months. The firm has high debt levels and has been unable to return to profitability in recent years amid the downturn in global shipping.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'French carrier offers $3.38b to buy out NOL'. Print Edition | Subscribe