France’s sovereign investment fund is weighing a $195 million stake in CMA CGM, the country’s largest ocean container carrier, according to a French national report.
The fund, known as FSI, is expected to reach a deal with the Marseilles-based carrier within three weeks, Le Journal du Dimanche reported.
CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping operator, declined to comment on the report.
The FSI capital injection would be a “counterweight” to Turkey’s Yildirim group, which acquired a 20 percent stake in CMA CGM for $500 million in 2011, Le Journal du Dimanche said.
CMA CGM spurned a proposed $100 million investment from FSI in 2010 in favor of Yildirim, which is reported to have injected another $250 million in January to increase its stake to 30 percent.
The Yildirim investment was key to CMA CGM’s survival as part of a restructuring of its $5.2 billion of net debt.
CMA CGM, which swung to a net loss of $30 million in 2011 from a $1.6 billion profit a year earlier, has said it plans to agree to a final restructuring with its banks by the end of June.
The French carrier, which forged an operating alliance with second-ranked fleet operator Mediterranean Shipping Co. in December to compete with market leader Maersk Line, has forecast a return to profit in 2012.
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