Friday, December 18, 2009

Shipping Line Overhauls Management For Credit

CMA CGM to Restructure
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – French shipping line CMA CGM have announced that they have reached an agreement with their financial partners for a 500 million dollar credit line that will be made available to the group in January next year.

Under the deal the group will for the first time appoint a chief executive from outside the company, Philippe Soulié, and will see current CEO and founder Jacques Saadé move over as Chairman of a newly created Board of Directors, a requirement that apparently was insisted upon by CMA’s investors.

M. Soulié is a highly experienced executive who currently runs Marseilles-based construction company CNIM. According to M. Saadé his appointment and the release of the credit means that CMA CGM “now has the resources as well as a strong team in place to build on this new dynamic.”

The credit agreement is a crucial step which enables CMA CGM to pursue the continuing talks regarding its debt restructuring and a capital increase planned for the 2nd half of 2010. It will also facilitate the group’s discussions with Korean shipbuilders whom the company is in negotiations with concerning the delay or cancellation of ships that the group has on order.

M. Saadé added that: “With this agreement, our financial partners are sending a strong message and affirming their confidence in the Group. Our strategy to return to profitable growth is therefore proven to be valid.”