CMA CGM is said to be negotiating the sale of a 49 percent stake in its Malta container terminal to Turkey’s Yildirim Group, a minority shareholder in the French ocean carrier.
The two companies are close to an agreement, but other groups are still in the bidding, French daily Les Echos reported.
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Denmark’s APM Terminals is also said to be interested in buying a stake in the terminal which will become a major hub for sister company Maersk Line in July following its decision to cease transshipment operations at the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro.
The planned disposal is part of Marseilles-based CMA CGM’s debt restructuring program agreed with its creditors in January.
Yildirim, a family-owned group with interest in coal and steel trading, logistics and ports, invested $500 million to acquire a 20 percent stake in CMA CGM in 2010.
CMA CGM, which confirmed in early May that it is mulling the sale of a minority stake in its Malta terminal, declined to comment on reports it is about to close on a deal with Yildirim.
CMA CGM, which has a 65-year concession to operate and develop the Malta Freeport Terminal, accounts for just over half of its 2010 traffic of 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units.
The terminal faced the loss of around 10 percent of its revenues when the European Union imposed sanctions against Iran in October, including a ban on the loading and unloading of cargoes of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line.
CMA CGM has interests in 27 container terminals around the world, including Port Klang, Malaysia; Tanger Med, Morocco; Kingston, Jamaica and Khor Fakkan in the Gulf of Oman. .
Portsynergy, a joint venture with Dubai’s DP World, has a 35-year concession to operate a two million TEUs per year terminal in Marseilles.
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