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CMA CGM offers $2.4 billion for Singapore NOL

Staff writer |
CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping firm, made a S$3.4 billion ($2.43 billion) offer to buy Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines to expand its presence on trans-Pacific routes.

Family-owned CMA CGM offered S$1.30 a share in cash, 6 percent above NOL's last closing price on the stock exchange. Temasek, which owns nearly 67 percent of NOL, has accepted the offer and will tender all of its shares.

The deal would require anti-trust approvals from the United States, Europe and China. After they are obtained, a formal offer is expected to be launched around June 2016, NOL CEO Ng Yat Chung said.

CMA CGM's offer closes the chapter on a difficult investment for Temasek. The state investor paid S$2.80 a share in 2004 when it increased its stake in NOL to 68 percent from 29 percent.

CMA CGM will make a mandatory cash offer for the remaining shares from minority shareholders that include BlackRock.

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