CMA CGM bids for TaiwanÆs CNC
CMA CGM Overseas (Taiwan) Investment Co. Ltd (CMA CGM Taiwan), a wholly owned unit of French ocean carrier CMA CGM, said today it has made a tender offer for the shares of Taiwan's Cheng Lie Navigation Co. Ltd.
No financial details have been disclosed, but the bid is thought to worth in the region of $180 million to $200 million.
CNC operates a fleet of 16 vessels, of which eight are owned, and is active on 16 services in the intra-Asia market serving Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
The Taipei-based company was established in 1971 by K.C. Chow and since 1999 has been chaired by his son I.C. Chow. CNC was listed on the Gre Tai Securities Market in February 2006. Last year, CNC reported turnover of $298 million and transported 472,000 TEUs.
'This acquisition would enlarge our scope of business into the intra-Asia trading area,' said Farid Salem, CMA CGM's chief executive vice president. 'The combination of CNC's regional strength and CMA CGM's strong global position would allow the group to offer a complete range of services to its clients. Together there will be ample opportunities to develop new routes, making use of attractive fleet and market synergies. In that process, we of course look forward to continue the cooperation with CNC's current trading partners.'
Marseilles-based CMA CGM has grown dramatically in the last few years to become the world's third-largest liner carrier with a fleet capacity of about 750,000 TEUs. Its rise has been driven by acquisitions of prominent regional operators such as ANL Container Line in the Oceania trades and Delmas in the African markets.
'We intend to continue this successful model with the CNC acquisition,' Salem said. 'The company will maintain its brand and will continue to rely on its experienced and dedicated network of agencies, terminals, management and staff. It will remain headquartered in Taipei.'
The French line said it intends to ask I.C. Chow to stay on as chairman to ensure 'continuity and a smooth transition.' At the same time, CMA CGM Taiwan will appoint Igal Dafni as its managing director. Dafni was managing director of Gold Star Line, a subsidiary of Israeli carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services.
It first emerged that CMA CGM might be looking to make a purchase in Taiwan when Wan Hai Line issued a statement in December denying that it was in takeover talks with the French carrier.