Turkish port operator Yildirim Holdings AS has announced plans to sell its 24 percent stake in the French shipping major CMA CGM, Bloomberg reported.
The company mandated China Citic Bank Corp. to find investors from Asia or the Persian Gulf for its interest in the world’s third biggest container shipping company. “We will either exit our investment completely or remain as an ordinary shareholder,” said Yildirim.
Yildirim invested $600 million to become a shareholder in CMA CGM between 2010 and 2011. According to the company, the current value of the shares ranges between USD 2.5-3 billion based on recent deals in the industry.
A report in Hürriyet CMA CGM has confirmed it is in talks with the Yildirim Group over the sale of the Turkish conglomerate’s 24% stake.
The sale has been linked with Yildirim’s acquisition of the US maritime terminal operator Ports America Holdings from Oaktree Capital Group, with whom the company has an exclusivity agreement valid until the end of July.
The Yildirim group is expected to invest some of the proceeds from its exit from CMA CGM in its fast growing ports unit, Yilport.
Yildirim is seeking a financial investor to join a bid by its Yilport Holding AS unit for Ports America as part of a plan to be among the 10 biggest container-terminal operators in the world by 2025, the report said.
Ports America, the largest independent maritime terminal operator on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts with 42 locations, is owned by Oaktree Capital Group’s private-equity unit, Highstar Capital.