French shipping giant rules out Qatar bid

12th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The debt-ridden French shipping giant CMA-CGM on Monday ruled the Gulf investment group Qatar Holding out of the running to help it recapitalise.

"Their conditions were too hard," said the chairman of CMA-CGM's board, Jacques Saade, referring to the bid by the Gulf royal family's investment arm Qatar Holding to buy a stake in the French company from his family.

Another investor, the US group Colony Capital, also dropped out of the bidding, added Saade, whose family controls the Marseille-based company, the third-biggest container shipping line in the world.

He said however that CMA-CGM still aimed to complete its recapitalisation by the end of July with the help of the French state-backed Strategic Investment Fund and another investor, whom he did not name.

"Results for the first half (of 2010) will be positive and will largely make up the loss recorded in the first half of 2009," Saade said.

He was speaking in the northwestern French port of Le Havre at the launch of a huge French container ship, christened the Christopher Columbus.

CMA-CGM's debts are estimated to reach 5.3 billion dollars (4.2 billion euros) this year.

© 2010 AFP

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