CMA now owns 78.07% of NOL

French shipping giant's offer wholly unconditional after Temasek, affiliates tender shares

French shipping giant CMA CGM's 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.

This means the acceptance condition of the takeover has been met.

CMA CGM now owns 78.07 per cent of NOL shares and has confirmed its intention to take the company private.

It can delist NOL once it holds more than 90 per cent of the firm.

CMA CGM also said it does not intend to increase its offer price of $1.30 per share in cash. The deadline has been extended to 5.30pm, July 18.

"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," said Mr Tan Chong Lee, the joint head of Temasek's portfolio management group.

A CMA CGM container ship in Shanghai port. The French shipper has confirmed its intention to take NOL private, and also says it does not intend to increase its offer price of $1.30 per share in cash. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

"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," he added.

NOL shares closed 0.5 cent up at $1.305 yesterday.

Privately-owned 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 10 members, was appointed with effect from Thursday.

Its new executive chairman is CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saade, who takes over from Mr Kwa Chong Seng.

The French company was founded in 1978 by Mr Saade's father, Mr Jacques Saade.

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

NOL's delisting would follow in the footsteps of other Singapore names being delisted or privatised, such as Osim International and Singapore-based Tiger Airways.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'CMA now owns 78.07% of NOL'. Print Edition | Subscribe