French carrier CMA CGM, which has announced its bid to acquire Neptune Orient Lines for S$3.4bn ($2.4bn) in cash, is slowly building a stake in Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) for less than the price per share it has offered in a planned takeover deal.
CMA CGM has bought 367,000 shares of the Singapore-listed shipping company in the open market for S$1.24 each share, 4.6 percent below its offer price of S$1.30 a share.
In an earlier (December 11) disclosure said it bought about 3.68 million NOL shares at S$1.22 per share, equivalent 0.14 percent of the latter’s issued share capital.
The French line now has a 0.77 percent stake in NOL according to Singapore Exchange disclosures.
Temasek, which owns nearly 67 percent of NOL, has accepted the offer and will tender all of its shares, and this is set to trigger a mandatory open offer for the rest of the company’s shares.
However, the required regulatory approvals are not expected till mid-2016, with a general offer then taking a further 28 days after that. CMA CGM has said it will de-list NOL if it gains more than 90 percent shareholder approval.
Marseille-based CMA CGM
has said it will take the Singapore-listed company private if it can mop up over 90 percent of the shares through its open offer.