Global shipping line Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is set to acquire Bolloré Africa logistics (BRVM:SDSC) business unit for $6.4 billion.


    “Bolloré Group has granted the MSC Group exclusivity until March 31, 2022 to enable MSC, further to an additional due diligence phase and contractual negotiations, to submit a put option,” MSC Group, a Swiss-Italian container shipping line said.


    A put option contract gives the owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell a certain amount of the underlying asset, at a set price within a specific time.


    “The Bolloré Group’s decision to exercise this put option and the signature of the relevant agreements may only take place after the competent employee representative bodies have been informed and consulted and certain internal reorganisation operations have been carried out within the Bolloré Group,” the company said in a statement.



    Awaiting approvals

    Completion of the sale will require the approval of regulatory and competition authorities, as well as of certain counterparties of Bolloré Africa Logistics.


    The announcement puts to an end speculation as to whether Bolloré was planning to exit the Africa market by selling its assets.


    Bolloré’s business is centred around shipping: The company is present in 42 ports, and operates in 16 container terminal concessions, seven ferry terminals, two wood terminals, a river terminal, and a conventional stevedoring activity.


    The Group has a network of 85 maritime agencies in 74 African agencies in 32 countries and in logistics, the company has a presence in 47 countries and manages all administrative and Customs procedures for its customers before and after transportation, for import and export, as well as the movement of goods to their final destination.


    MSC’s bid to acquire Bolloré Group Africa’s investments will increase competition to maintain its position as a global shipping company. It was recognised as the world’s largest containership company by capacity, ahead of Maersk Company which has been holding top position for decades.



    Highly ranked

    Data analysts and consultancy Alphaliner updated its ranking of the Top 100, putting MSC ahead of Maersk by 1,888 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs), a small fraction of its nearly 4.3 million TEU total capacity.


    MSC is present in 155 countries and facilitates international trade between the world’s major economies, and among emerging markets across all continents.


    Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, since 1978, MSC is a privately-owned organisation driven by the Aponte family and does not announce each transaction leaving industry analysts to link the company to construction orders, charters, and secondhand tonnage.


    A world leader in container shipping, MSC has evolved from a one vessel operation into a globally-respected business with a fleet of 600 vessels and more than 100,000 staff.


    MSC calls at 500 ports on 230+ trade routes, carrying some 23 million TEU annually, via a modern fleet, equipped with the latest green technologies.



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