Sunday, August 1, 2010

Possible Sale Of CMA CGM Stock As They Receive New Container Ships

Bid as French Shipping Group Take Delivery of Giant Eco Friendly Vessels
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – SOUTH KOREA – CMA CGM announced a flurry of changes these past few days but no one was available for comment today after it appeared Belgian billionaire Albert Frère was moving to take a share in the ailing giant, fresh on the heels of the delivery of two new giant container ships (13,380 and 11,400 TEU respectively)the French registered CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci constructed by DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering) and the CMA CGM Leo, built by the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyards and registered in Malta.

Whilst rumours of a move by Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP) the holding group for Msieu.Frère, Belgium’s richest man, to take over a 30% interest in CMA CGM in a partnership with the Fonds Stratégique d'Investissement (FSI) who commented last October they would only invest after strategic changes within the CMA CGM. A figure of half a billion Euros has been mentioned to acquire the targeted shares. Meanwhile press releases from the company were concentrating solely on the latest acquisitions by the group whose problems we have covered in some detail in the past.

In compliance with CMA CGM’s environmental policy and like all new vessels of this type ordered by the Group, these latest purchases are equipped with a combination of innovative environmental features, including electronically controlled engine, reducing oil and fuel consumption thus enabling the vessel to be operated at eco-speed, a pioneering Fast Oil Recovery System, which enables bunkers to be rapidly recovered at any time, hence significantly limiting the environmental consequences should there be an incident at sea.

The vessels also boast advanced design features such as frontal superstructure on the Amerigo Vespucci which maximizes space utilization and guarantees better visibility from the bridge and the Leo’s leading edge rudder and an optimized hull design to improve the vessel’s hydrodynamics, thus reducing its carbon emissions.

The Amerigo Vespucci at 365 metres is second of a series of eight vessels named after the great explorers. The Leo is just five metres shorter, the fifth of a series of 12 vessels of 11,400 TEU ordered by the CMA CGM Group and that will be delivered between 2010 and 2011and is one of the first vessels of the Group to receive the new Bureau Veritas classification notations Clean Ship C and FORS. These notations confirm the environmental performance of the vessel which is equipped with innovative environmental-friendly features. Both ships will be utilised on the FAL 5 service (French Asia Line) linking Asia to North Europe. Launched in early July, the FAL 5 service has extended the CMA CGM’s range of shipping solutions on this trade.

Other group news is the appointment of Mr Olivier Dubois as Group Chief Financial Officer who joined the company on the 30th July. He will replace Mr Jean-Yves Schapiro who has decided to take on new challenges outside the shipping industry. Mr Dubois has extensive financial experience including eleven years at Bank Paribas and will work in close cooperation with Jean-Yves Schapiro until the end of August. If CNP pursue their interest in the company Mr Dubois' first few days may prove a little more hectic than he had anticipated.

Photo:- CMA CGM Christophe Colomb, sister ship of the Amerigo Vespucci