Singapore-based container shipping company Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) is in preliminary discussions with French CMA CGM SA and Danish A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S with respect to a potential acquisition of NOL, the company said, thus confirming recent media reports.
“NOL has a duty to assess all options to maximise shareholder value and improve its competitiveness. From time to time, NOL enters into discussions on possible combinations involving NOL, while remaining focused on returning its core liner business to sustainable growth and profitability,” NOL added.
However, the company stressed that there is no assurance that any such discussions will result in any definitive agreement or transaction, or that any offer for NOL will be made.
“NOL will make an appropriate announcement in the event that there are any material developments. Shareholders of NOL and investors are therefore advised to exercise caution when dealing in shares in and other securities of NOL,” the company concluded.
The confirmation comes on the back of an announcement dating back to July, in which NOL said that the investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd, NOL’s majority stake owner, was in talks with an undisclosed buyer to sell its stake in NOL, but that there was still no definitive deal yet.
Previously, NOL had been linked to a potential merger with German carrier Hapag-Loyd and subsequently Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, nevertheless none of them were realized.
Tamasek holds 65% stake in the company whereas the remaining 35% is traded on the Singapore Exchange. NOL, which operates through the APL brand, has 92 vessels in its fleet.