French container shipping and logistics company CMA CGM has completed a first transaction related to the sale of eight port terminals to Terminal Link, a joint venture between CMA CGM and port developer and operator China Merchants Port Holdings (CMP).
As informed, this first transaction represents a total all-cash consideration of USD 815 million. It is part of a wider agreement covering a total of ten terminals reached between CMA CGM and CMP in December 2019.
The sale comes only a few days after the duo received an EU approval for the transfer of stakes of the ten port terminals to Terminal Link joint venture, which is 51 percent owned by CMA CGM and 49 percent by CMP.
The initial disposal includes Odessa Terminal in Ukraine, CMA CGM PSA Lion Terminal (CPLT) in Singapore, Kingston Freeport Terminal in Jamaica, Rotterdam World Gateway in the Netherlands, Qingdao Qianwan United Advance Container Terminal in China, Vietnam International Container Terminal in the country’s Ho Chi Minh City, Laem Chabang International Terminal in Thailand and Umm Qasr Terminal in Iraq.
According to CMA CGM, the sale of the remaining two terminals, totaling more than USD 150 million, is expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2020 once the approval by relevant regulatory agencies is received.
CMA CGM reduces debt and boosts liquidity
With this transaction, CMA CGM is proceeding with the delivery of its USD 2.1 billion liquidity plan announced in November 2019.
The plan, among others, reduces CMA CGM consolidated debt by more than USD 1.3 billion by the end of the first half of 2020 and allows to extend certain financing facilities maturing during the year.
What is more, the French group strengthens its balance sheet amidst the high uncertainty created by the global COVID-19 health crisis. While the pandemic has had a limited impact in the first quarter of 2020, the group expects a decline in volumes, particularly outbound to Europe and the United States.
“This transaction, announced on December 20, 2019, is an important step in its 2.1 billion USD liquidity plan and will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, commented.
“Amid the high uncertainty created by the COVID-19 health crisis, the closing of this transaction as previously announced demonstrates the resilience of the CMA CGM Group.”
CMA CGM operates a fleet of 502 vessels which serve more than 420 ports around the world. The company’s containerships carried nearly 22 million TEUs in 2019.