CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saade said that his company was the first ones to initiate the discussions with NOL and Temasek and it made sense to them, that is why they carried on with the discussions, according to a report in The Straits Times.
France's CMA CGM proposed a $3.38 billion cash buyout of Temasek Holdings-controlled NOL.
"Of course they were talking to others... I don't know about the offers of the others, but what I will say is that we are the third-largest container carrier in the world," he added.
CMA CGM , privately owned by the billionaire Saade family has, over the years, acquired and integrated brands such as government-owned Australian National Line, African specialist Delmas and Taiwan's Cheng Lie Navigation into its suite.
Despite a slump in global trade volumes, Mr Saade is convinced that "double hubbing" in South-east Asia makes sense. "It's not a question of competition (between the two ports). We have enough volumes to operate in the two terminals."
If the anti-trust authorities greenlight the buyout, NOL's name will disappear and American President Lines (APL
), the brand that NOL vessels operate under, will be expanded on all continents, he said.
The NOL deal, set to close in the second half of next year, also sees CMA CGM making a commitment to reinforce Singapore
as a maritime hub by sending more volumes through the PSA ports here.