CMA CGM is negotiating with a Lebanese group about investing in the French ocean container carrier, according to French press reports.
The family-owned Mikati Group, known as MI, is the latest company linked to attempts by CMA CGM to tap outside investment as part of a restructuring of its $5.3 billion debt taken on to increase its fleet, the world’s third largest.
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There are reports the Marseilles-based carrier also is holding talks with a Turkish group.
CMA CGM previously held talks with Belgian billionaire financier Albert Frere and FSI, France’s strategic investment fund, and was reported close to selling a 30 percent stake for $650 million.
The talks appear to have stalled in early August though none of the parties involved have commented on the current status of negotiations.
CMA CGM, which is controlled by the Saade family, earlier broke off talks with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, claiming its conditions for a deal were too onerous.
The Mikati group is a broadly based holding company with a controlling stake in MTN, a South African telecoms company, a high end fashion business, and real estate, including properties in London and New York. It is also a shareholder in baboo, a Swiss low cost airline.
The group is headed by Najib Mikati, a former Lebanese prime minister, and his brother Taha. Each has a net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
CMA CGM’s founding owner Jacques Saade is of Lebanese descent
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