Singapore shipper Neptune Orient looks to sell logistics unit: Sources

Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines is looking to sell its APL Logistics division with the hope of fetching more than US$750 million (S$935 million), according to people familiar with the situation. -- ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA
Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines is looking to sell its APL Logistics division with the hope of fetching more than US$750 million (S$935 million), according to people familiar with the situation. -- ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines is looking to sell its APL Logistics division with the hope of fetching more than US$750 million (S$935 million), according to people familiar with the situation.

Shipping and logistics company Neptune is comprised of two major divisions - APL Logistics, a global freight management and logistics business, and a separate container shipping business named APL.

Neptune plans to launch a process in the fall to find a buyer for APL Logistics and has hired banks to assist with that effort, the sources said, asking not to be named.

A representative for Neptune had no immediate comment.

The logistics business had earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization of US$74.5 million according to the division's 2013 financials.

Neptune hopes to fetch between 10 and 12 times that amount in a potential sale, or between US$750 million and US$900 million, according to the people familiar with the matter. However, buyers are likely to value the business at closer to US$600 million, the sources said.

Despite APL Logistics' positive performance in 2013, the parent company posted a net loss of US$76 million on US$8.8 billion of total revenue.

The APL Logistics business accounted for 18 per cent of Neptune's total 2013 revenue.