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CMA CGM nears stake sale

Paris: Asian yards are monitoring very closely the news from French ocean container carrier CMA CGM who is close to agreeing to the sale of a 20 percent stake to Turkish family owned company Yildirim for $500 million. An agreement could be signed by the end of this week and CMA CGM would receive payment at the end of November, French financial daily Les Echos reported.?Reports of an imminent deal follow the collapse of negotiations with several potential bidders over the past six months, including Colony Capital, a U.S. investment group, Belgian billionaire Albert Frere and Qatar Holding.?The French government's strategic investment fund, FSI, is expected to invest in CMA CGM after the carrier reaches agreement with Yildirim.?CMA CGM, the world's third largest container carrier, has a very extensive orderbook in Asia, with some 30 giant boxships scheduled to be built, many of which were the subject of much speculation as to how the Marseille-based line could finance them.  [15/10/10]

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