Shares trade for Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines halted amid takeover talks

Shares trade for Singapore
Highlights

Singapore container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), which is in exclusive talks to be bought over by France\'s CMA CGM SA, asked for a trading halt Monday ahead of an announcement.

Singapore container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), which is in exclusive talks to be bought over by France's CMA CGM SA, asked for a trading halt Monday ahead of an announcement.


NOL said last month that it had granted CMA CGM exclusivity in the talks, which were supposed to end at midnight Sunday Singapore time (1600 GMT).

It said CMA CGM needed to complete due diligence by the deadline.

In its brief filing with the Singapore Exchange on Monday, NOL asked for a halt in the trading of its shares "pending an announcement" without giving details.

Marseille-based container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM is nearing a definitive offer to buy NOL for about Sg$3.4 billion ($2.4 billion), Bloomberg News reported Monday, quoting people with knowledge of the matter.

It said CMA CGM plans to offer about Sg$1.30 a share in cash for the Singapore-based company. Bloomberg said a deal would combine NOL and the world's third-largest container company to strengthen their positions against market leaders A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and Mediterranean Shipping Co.

NOL has been racking up losses due to sluggish global trade and lower freight rates. Last month, the company reported a net loss of $96 million for the third quarter, widening from a loss of $23 million in the same period the year before. NOL this year sold its logistics business -- APL Logistics Ltd. -- to Japan's Kintetsu World Express Inc. for $1.2 billion.
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