Yildirim Holding, the Turkish trading and ports conglomerate that owns 20 percent of CMA CGM, agreed in principle to buy 50 percent of the French ocean carrier’s Malta Freeport container terminal for about $286 million.
Although the Istanbul-based company has gone public with the deal, CMA CGM is withholding confirmation until it finalizes the agreement.
CMA CGM news from JOC:
CMA CGM to expand capacity of three ships.
In May, CMA CGM said it was in negotiations over the sale of a 49 percent stake in the Malta transshipment hub.
Yildirim, which paid $500 million for a 20 percent stake in CMA CGM in 2010 as part of the Marseille-based carrier’s financial restructuring, has said it plans to build a global ports operation.
The Malta Freeport deal also is part of CMA CGM’s debt restructuring program agreed on with its creditors in January.
CMA CGM, which acquired a 30-year concession to operate and develop the Malta Freeport terminal in 2004, later extended to 65 years, accounts for just more than half its 2010 traffic of 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units.
Malta Freeport is set to significantly increase its traffic following Maersk Line’s decision to cease transshipment at the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro and transfer traffic to the Mediterranean island terminal under a vessel sharing agreement with CMA CGM.
Yildirim and CMA CGM will launch a joint bid for the concession to operate the container terminal at Gothenburg, Sweden’s largest port, according to French press reports.
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