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News Dec 11, 2015

Shearman & Sterling Advises Banks on Financing of CMA CGM’s Cash Offer for Neptune Orient Lines

Shearman & Sterling advised ING Bank N.V., J.P. Morgan Limited, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, BNP Paribas, Unicredit Bank AG, Société Générale CIB, HSBC France and HSBC BANK PLC, as arrangers and/or initial lenders, on the financing of a pre-conditional voluntary general cash offer by CMA CGM, a French shipping company, for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Southeast Asia’s largest container shipping company (SGX: N03). NOL’s majority shareholders (Temasek and its affiliates) have irrevocably undertaken to tender all of their shares in acceptance of the offer.

The transaction, amounting to nearly SGD 3.4 billion, is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. Upon approval, CMA CGM will launch an offer at a price of SGD 1.30 per share, which represents a 49% premium to NOL’s unaffected share price and a 33% premium to NOL’s three-month volume-weighted average share price to July 16, 2015.

Created in 1978 by Jacques Saadé, CMA CGM is the world’s third-largest container shipping firm, with 469 vessels and a global market share of 8.8%. In 2014, the Group handled over 12 million TEUs and generated USD 16.74 billion in revenues. A founding member of the Ocean Three Alliance with UASC and CSCL, CMA CGM is present across 160 countries, with 22,000 employees in 655 offices, and has a fleet capacity of 1,781 TEUs.

NOL is a leading shipping company operating under the American President Lines (APL) brand. In 2014, the company’s revenues reached USD 7.04 billion. Currently, NOL has more than 7,400 employees in 180 offices across more than 80 countries and operates 94 vessels, representing 618,000 TEUs in fleet capacity.

The Shearman & Sterling team was counsel Philippe Wolanski (Paris-Finance), and assisted by associates Laurent Bonnet (Paris-Finance) and Bruno Valenti (Paris-Finance).