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CMA CGM finalises $500m deal with Turkey's Yildrim Group

Marseilles: Liner giant CMA CGM, one of the stalwarts of the Asia-Europe and Asia-US trades, announces it has reached a final agreement for Yildrim Group of Turkey to invest $500m in the company by acquiring five-year ORA equity notes giving access to 20% of CMA CGM's share capital. Yildrim will also be given three seats on the 10-member Board of Directors. The Saadé family will retain a majority interest with 80% of outstanding shares and voting rights.
 
Yildrim is an international family-run holding company established in 1963 in Samsun, Turkey. It is currently present in chrome ore mining and trading, ferrochrome production and trading, coal trading, fertilizer production and trading, shipping, shipbuilding, and port management.
 
"This alliance with Yildrim Group will enable us to strengthen CMA CGM's balance sheet," said Jacques R. Saadé, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CMA CGM. "The arrival of a new investor will provide our Group with additional resources to support and step up its growth."
 
Separately, CMA CGM reports that for the first nine months of 2010, revenue totalled $10.5bn, up 38% over the prior-year period, while freight volumes rose by nearly 18% year-on-year to 6.8 million TEU. The Group says it achieved an operating margin (EBITDA) for the period of 18.5%, one of the best performances of its sector.
 
CMA CGM attributes its good results in part to a "resumption of world trade and in particular, the growth in volumes on the Asia-Europe (up 21.1%) and Asia-US lines (up 15.4%) in the first nine months of the year".  [24/11/10] 

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