CMA to buy debt-laden NOL for $2.4 billion

The French container shipping company is set to acquire ailing Singapore-based rival NOL amid a sector-wide consolidation crunch.

CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping company, has made a pre-conditional cash offer of $2.4 billion for Singapore-based rival Neptune Orient Lines marking another major milestone in the consolidation of global shipping.

The France-headquartered firm fended off interest from rivals such as Denmark’s Moller-Maersk, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Orient Overseas Container Line of Hong Kong, and Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine to announce the purchase on Monday.

The deal will proceed pending antitrust authority approval in Europe, the US, and China and comes at a time when earnings from shipping are being squeezed globally due to excess capacity and shrinking trade. NOL has not made a profit...

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