CMA CGM and China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Ltd. (CMHI) have announced that they have signed the share purchase agreement regarding the sale of 49% equity interest in Terminal Link for 400 million euros (around $ 535 million). Following some pre-closing reorganisation, the transaction is expected to complete within the first half of 2013, subject to receipt of certain relevant external regulatory approvals.
This significant transaction is the initial cornerstone of a mutually, highly beneficial strategic partnership between CMA CGM and CMHI in operating and developing container terminals on a global basis and extending their relationships as business partners while capitalising on favourable global macro trends.
Terminal Link, 100% subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group based in Marseilles, France, operates, develops and invests in a global network of 15 terminals located on the world’s key international shipping routes. Supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment and expert management teams, it provides best-in-class quality services in stevedoring, storage and other container-handling activities to the world’s largest shipping lines calling at its terminals. Terminal Link ranks number 12 worldwide based on throughput handled with a volume of 8.1 million TEUs handled in 2011.
CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company, has been pioneering container shipping industry growth on the Asia – Europe and Mediterranean Basin trading routes. In the continuity of the successful partnerships created with world-class terminal operators through shared control of terminal assets, this important operation constitutes a unique opportunity to accelerate its development into and strengthen exposure to emerging markets-driven trade flows, and in particular inbound and outbound China container traffic.
CMHI, the largest public port operator in China, invests in and operates port business from a portfolio located primarily in eight major cities along China Mainland’s five most economically-active regions (viz Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin, Xiamen and Zhanjiang).
Added to its port portfolio, in recent years, are assets in Colombo, Sri Lanka and in Africa. Total container volume handled by its port portfolio exceeds 60 million TEUs in 2012. In this respect, investing in Terminal Link does not only represent a significant step for CMHI towards further internationalising its ports business, but also help to deepen the already mutually beneficially working relationship with a leading global container shipping group.
CMA CGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jacques R. Saadé commented “CMA CGM is very confident about this partnership with CMHI, which represents a unique opportunity to accelerate the Group development into terminals investments internationally. Since the beginning of CMA CGM’s presence in China 21 years ago, the Group has always appreciated to work with Chinese groups and this strong alliance confirms CMA CGM willingness to pursue. The complementarity CMA CGM and CMHI offers could allow both of us to develop international businesses.”
CMHI Chairman Dr. Fu Yuning, emphasised, “The transaction is consistent with CMHI’s strategy and marks a significant step towards expanding our international footprint. Terminal Link’s strategic relationship with CMA CGM will help to ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations. Besides, Terminal Link’s exposure to terminals in emerging markets and its potential pipeline of new projects present another driver for its volume growth and financial returns in the future.
“On the other hand, CMHI’s existing network of terminal operations in China and globally, and the cargo flow business thereby captured will potentially complement and supplement the services offered by Terminal Link, thereby creating synergised benefits mutual to not only both parties but also the respective shipping customers of CMHI and of Terminal Link.” He added, “In addition, the transaction reflects the closer working relationship we are forging with CMA CGM.”