Friday, October 26, 2018

Container Shipping Line Reveals Intentions for Global Logistics Partner

Offer to Shareholders Unhappy with Development Plans
Shipping News Feature
SWITZERLAND – FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – The situation regarding the future of Ceva Logistics took yet another turn this week when French container shipping line CMA CGM offered CHF30 to all Ceva shareholders not happy about their future stock after changes to the administration of the company were announced.

Over the past couple of weeks Danish transport group DSV have made two offers to acquire Ceva, both above current stock price, the first at CHF27.75 then at CHF30, the former refused and the latter withdrawn. These had an unsettling effect with CMA CGM increasing its holding to 33% and now proposing the following changes.

Whilst committing to keep the Ceva shares listed, CMA CGM says it will support the reorganisation of Ceva Logistics and assist in the company’s transformation of its digital and IT systems. It commits to ‘supporting additional investments’ but does not reference exactly what this means.

The French line makes much of the fact that it will add value by transferring its freight management activities to Ceva, a move it claims will strengthen the company and create economies of scale. It says the plan will create new commercial opportunities by referencing its own international commercial network.

Ceva Logistics board of directors have fully supported the move which is designed to preserve the company’s assets and identity. The two organisations say the new regime will ‘significantly improve the financial performance of Ceva Logistics [whilst] CMA CGM commits to maintain the company’s share listing at the SIX Swiss Exchange and to have a significant free float’.

The agreement signed between CMA CGM and Ceva also entails removal of the ‘drag along’ clause in the relationship agreement previously entered into, while that cash offer for stockholders who wish to divest themselves of Ceva shares will see a voluntary public tender offer from CMA CGM which will be pre-announced by November 30, 2018 at the latest. Rodolphe Saadé, Chief Executive Officer of CMA CGM, commented:

“We are convinced of Ceva Logistics’ potential. This industrial cooperation will make it possible to accelerate its required transformation and to make it a more profitable and efficient leader in logistics for the benefit of its clients, its employees and its shareholders. It reconfirms CMA CGM as the reference shareholder as well as its long-term partner”.