US fund says still in running to recapitialise CMA-CGM

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The US investment fund Colony Capital said on Friday it was still in the running to take part in the recapitalisation of the heavily indebted French firm CMA CGM, the world's third-biggest shipping group.

Sebastien Bazin, head of Old Colony Europe, told BFM radio it was necessary "to find a way to keep this company going."

Asked if Old Colony was still a candidate, he said: "At the moment, yes."

Sources close to matter said on Wednesday that CMA-CGM had chosen Quatari Holdings, which is linked to the FSI strategic investment fund, to become a new shareholder as part of an effort to absosrb the group's huge debt.

But the shipper insisted that no decision had been taken.

CMA-CGM, struggling with debt estimated at 5.3 billion dollars (4.2 billion euros) however has insisted that no decision had been made.

CMA-CGM, one of the leading private sector employers in the southern French port city of Marseille, is a family-owned business headed by its founder, Jacques Saade.

The group employs 16,500 people worldwide.

© 2010 AFP

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