CMA CGM Group has closed the first part of its agreement with China Merchants Port (CMP), with the sale of its stakes in eight port terminals to Terminal Link for US$815m in cash.
The transaction, which is part of the French company’s US$2.1bn liquidity plan, is meant to help it reduce its debt and immediately increase its liquidity.
This plan among others aims to reduce CMA CGM’s consolidated debt by more than US$1.3bn by the end of first-half 2020 and allows to extend certain financing facilities maturing during the year.
The initial disposal includes the following terminals: Odessa Terminal (Ukraine), CMA CGM PSA Lion Terminal (Singapore), Kingston Freeport Terminal (Jamaica), Rotterdam World Gateway (Netherlands), Qingdao Qianwan United Advance Container Terminal (China), Vietnam International Container Terminal (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Laem Chabang International Terminal (Thailand) and Umm Qasr Terminal (Iraq).
It is hoped that the Terminal Link joint venture, which was created in 2013 and is 51% owned by CMA CGM and 49% by CMP, will be able to expand its geographic footprint and global network, thereby enhancing its business development prospects.
Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said: “This transaction, announced on the December 20, 2019, is an important step in its US$2.1bn liquidity plan and will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet.
“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.”
The sale of the last two terminals covered by the agreement between CMA CGM and CMP should be completed by the end of first-half 2020 for an all-cash consideration over US$150m, pending regulatory approval.
The company noted that the transaction strengthens its balance sheet during the uncertain period caused by COVID-19, which it expects to cause a decline in volumes, particularly outbound to Europe and the US.