Press Releases

CMA CGM to acquire NOL, reinforcing its position in global shipping

  • Proposed cash acquisition of NOL at SGD 1.30 per NOL share, representing a 49% premium to NOL’s unaffected share price1, fully financed
  • Strategic acquisition resulting in combined turnover of USD 22 billion2 and fleet size of 563 vessels
  • Complementary geographical strengths enhance the diversity of CMA CGM’s trade portfolio and consolidate its position on strategic trade routes
  • CMA CGM will establish its regional head office in Singapore, which will reinforce Singapore’s leadership position in the shipping industry
  • Significant operational synergies
  • Transaction is unanimously approved and recommended by NOL Board
  • NOL’s majority shareholders (Temasek and its affiliates) fully support the transaction and have irrevocably undertaken to tender all of their shares into the Offer

Singapore and Marseille (France), December 7, 2015 - CMA CGM, a global leader in container shipping, today announces a pre-conditional voluntary general cash offer for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Southeast Asia’s largest container shipping company (SGX: N03), subject to the satisfaction of the pre-conditions specified in such announcement. NOL’s majority shareholders (Temasek and its affiliates) have irrevocably undertaken to tender all of their shares in acceptance of the Offer.

Upon the satisfaction of the pre-conditions (namely, approvals from antitrust authorities), CMA CGM will launch an offer at a price of SGD 1.30 per share, which represents a 49% premium to NOL’s unaffected share price1 and a 33% premium1 to NOL’s 3 month volume-weighted average share price to July 16, 2015.


Created in 1978 by Jacques Saadé, CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping firm, with 469 vessels and a global market share of 8.8%. In 2014, the Group handled over 12 million TEUs and generated USD 16.74 billion in revenues. A founding member of the Ocean Three Alliance with UASC and CSCL, CMA CGM is present across 160 countries, with 22,000 employees in 655 offices, and has a fleet capacity of 1,781 thousand TEUs.

NOL is a leading shipping company operating under the American President Lines (APL) brand. In 2014, the company’s revenues2 reached USD 7.04 billion. Currently, NOL has more than 7,400 employees in 180 offices across more than 80 countries and operates 94 vessels, representing 618 thousand TEUs in fleet capacity.

Reinforcing CMA CGM’s position in the container shipping industry with strong complementary strengths

This acquisition would enable CMA CGM to reinforce its position in the container shipping industry, and achieve the following:

  • capacity of 2,399 thousand TEUs and combined fleet of 563 vessels
  • market share of approximately 11.5% (vs 8.8% for CMA CGM and 2.7% for NOL)
  • combined turnover of c. USD 22 billion2.

CMA CGM has a leading position on the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Africa and Latin America routes, whilst APL is strong along the Transpacific, Intra-Asia and Indian subcontinent shipping routes. The enlarged entity will strengthen its position on strategic shipping routes, especially in key markets such as United States, Intra-Asia and Japan, and will boast a balanced trade portfolio. Following the transaction, the combined group would hold market shares from 7% to 19% on the routes on which it operates.

CMA CGM is looking forward to welcoming APL into CMA CGM’s world and intends to retain and develop the APL brand. With a historic presence in the US, APL would add to CMA CGM’s operations in this region. The combination of CMA CGM and APL’s highly skilled teams would enable the combined group to offer a premium service to all its customers.

The combined group’s customers would have access to an enlarged and well-balanced shipping coverage across all the strategic trades of global commerce, and to an extended range of products and services.

Creating scale to enhance competitiveness

The industry is currently facing significant challenges with strong pressure on capacity and pricing. In this context, companies need to enlarge their reach and coverage in order to benefit from economies of scale and deliver the full range of services to their customers. In order to deliver sustainable performances in the mid-term, scale provides a strategic advantage.

The combination of the two groups would create synergies and enable the following competitive advantages:

  • the optimization of vessels and occupancy rates on routes
  • economies of scale in terms of purchasing costs, logistics costs and chartering costs
  • a larger and more flexible fleet, allowing to deploy the most efficient vessels on any given route

Overall, the trade portfolio of the combined group would be better balanced, with increased resilience in times of market volatility.

CMA CGM has substantial experience in the integration of businesses and expects the enlarged entity to achieve significant operational synergies.

Commitment to Singapore: Reinforcing Singapore’s leadership in the maritime and shipping industry

CMA CGM attaches significant importance to Singapore and the region for the deployment of its strategy in Asia. The combined entity would reinforce Singapore’s leadership in the maritime and shipping sector as the city-state seeks to increase maritime services and transportation volumes, including committing more volumes through Singapore. CMA CGM will also contribute to reinforce Singapore as a center of excellence in the field of maritime activities as CMA CGM plans to use Singapore as a key hub in Asia. In this regard, CMA CGM plans to establish its regional head office in Singapore. This consolidation of CMA CGM’s longstanding presence in Asia in Singapore aims at providing efficient and quality services to customers in the region.

Following this transaction, CMA CGM intends to further leverage NOL’s historic legacy and reinforce its presence in Singapore.

Details of the transaction

The transaction is valuing NOL at a price to book ratio of 0.96 times. The transaction will be financed by a combination of available cash and bank financing provided by a syndicate of international banks.

Post-closing, CMA CGM intends to deleverage its balance sheet within 18 to 24 months through synergies and assets sales for an amount of at least USD 1 billion, with the aim to reduce debt gearing ratio to below 0.8 times.

The boards of NOL and CMA CGM have unanimously approved the terms of the proposed transaction, which is still subject to the approval of the relevant anti-trust authorities as set out in the Pre-Conditional Offer Announcement.

The offer will be launched without delay after approval of the relevant authorities which is expected by mid-2016.

A Press Conference will be held at 4.00 PM in Singapore at

Conrad Centennial Singapore

East West Ballroom, Level 2

Two Temasek Boulevard

Singapore 038982

Media may follow the press conference via webcast at:

For more information, please visit the dedicated website true


1 : Based on an unaffected share price of SGD0.875 as of 16 July 2015, the last full trading day before NOL’s announcement on 19 July 2015 in relation to media reports regarding a potential sale of NOL

2 : Based on LTM 3Q 2015 revenues, excluding contribution from NOL’s APL Logistics business

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About the CMA CGM Group:

CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R. Saadé is a leading worldwide shipping group. Its 469 vessels call more than 400 ports in the world, on all 5 continents. In 2014, they carried 12.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

CMA CGM has grown continuously, and has been constantly innovating to offer its clients new sea, land and logistics solutions. With a presence in 160 countries, through its 655 agencies network, the Group employs 22,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in its headquarter in Marseille.

About NOL:

Headquartered in Singapore, NOL is the largest shipping company listed on the Singapore Exchange. Its container shipping arm, APL, provides world-class container shipping and terminal services, as well as intermodal operations supported by leading-edge IT and e-commerce. APL offers transcontinental cargo shipping across Asia, North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Australia through more than 80 weekly services at 160 ports worldwide.