France to rescue CMA CGM using state investment funds

Time:2009-12-04 Browse:75 Author:RISINGSUN

FRANCE`s state investment arm, Fonds Strategique d`Investissement (FSI), has announced it is prepared to invest in the troubled Marseilles-based CMA CGM Group, which is saddled with US$5.6 million in debt.
The company, the world`s third biggest container shipping line, after Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company, must repay loans taken to finance new ships. It was planning to defer or cancel delivery of 60 ships while disposing of older ships and minority holdings to raise cash.
"CMA CGM fits in with France`s Strategic Investment Fund mission, which was established by the French state to meet the capital requirements of companies that bring growth and competitiveness to the economy," said the press statement.
It aims to "invest in companies which have the skills, the technologies and irreplaceable jobs for the nation and Europe," it stated on its website.
The Asia/Northern Europe lines, which account for nearly a quarter of CMA CGM volume have returned to profitability since October, said the company.
In October, CMA CGM revealed that it has lost $515 million in the first half of 2009 on revenues of $4.8 billion, after making a $123 million profit in 2008 on revenues of $15 billion.
CMA CGM has a fleet of 91 owned and 272 chartered ships with a combined capacity of more than one billion TEU.