France's sovereign wealth fund is considering an investment in indebted French shipping company CMA CGM alongside Turkish conglomerate Yildirim, an FSI spokesman said on Thursday.
Marseilles-based container shipping line CMA CGM, which began talks with lenders a year ago on restructuring more than $5 billion of debt it owes some 75 bank creditors after being hit by an industry-wide slump, has already agreed to a $500 million equity injection from Yildirim, according to two sources close to the deal that were quoted by Reuters.
That agreement was key to unlocking funding from FSI, the Fonds Strategique d'Investissement, which said earlier this year it would invest in CMA CGM if it found another industrial investor.
CMA CGM is No. 3 on the JOC list of Top 15 Container Fleet Operators.
"We were officially asked a few days ago by the Saade family to look at a possible joint investment with investor Yildirim," the FSI spokesman told Reuters. "We are working on it, and we will come back to CMA CGM quickly, in the coming weeks."
Yildirim might eventually get a 20 percent stake in CMA CGM, which is controlled by the family of founder Jacques Saade, according to one of the sources. The deal should be completed by Nov. 13, the person said.
FSI is a French public limited company 49 percent owned by the government of France and 51 percent by Caisse des Depots et Consignations.
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