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© Hieronymusukkel & CEVA

CMA CGM has increased its holding in Ceva Logistics to 33%, following the latter’s rejection of a takeover bid by DSV last week.

The increase had been expected after Ceva rejected DSV and CMA CGM indicated that it was considering increasing its stake.

Ceva had freed the shipping line from a standstill agreement that limited its maximum holding in the 3PL to 24.99%, and meant it could take it up to 33.3.%.

Under Swiss stock exchange regulations, a shareholder holding more than 33.3% of a company has to launch a takeover offer, but there is another standstill agreement between Ceva Logistics and CMA CGM that precludes this at least until next year.

A Ceva spokesperson told The Loadstar today: “In addition, CMA CGM has agreed, under certain conditions, to not launch or trigger an offer without the recommendation of the board of directors in the next six months, other than an offer superior to another offer.”

However, CMA CGM did also today enter into “a derivative transaction related to the shares of the company with cash settlement (total return swap) giving CMA CGM an additional economic exposure of 4.56% in Ceva Logistics’ share capital”.

The spokesperson confirmed to The Loadstar that this 4.56% was in addition to the 33% now held by the carrier.

DSV’s  unsolicited bid of $2.5bn last week – $1.5bn in shares and assumption of debt of around $1bn – was deemed to “significantly undervalue” Ceva’s prospects as a standalone company, according to a statement from its board.

However, The Loadstar’s financial analyst, Alessandro Pasetti, suggested that a “fully fledged” takeover of Ceva by CMA CGM may not be in the best interests of the carrier.

“This is partly due to the cultural barriers stemming from typical carrier mentality – which seldom meets forwarders’ needs,” Mr Pasetti wrote for The Loadstar last week.

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