French-owned CMA Container Ship

As forecast, the Merger and Acquisition trend which we have been long reporting would peak when the Federal Reserve would aggressively raise interest rates and cut off the cheap money supply. That time has come. Indeed, the higher interest rates rise, the less M&A activity now and in the future.


CMA CGM, a French ocean freight company, has made an offer to buy Bolloré Group’s logistics division in a deal valued at about €5 billion.

In December, Bolloré sold its African logistics operations and ports to MSC Group for roughly €5.1 billion.

Vincent Bolloré, known as a takeover specialist himself, has been trimming his family’s holdings to focus on the portions it owns of Universal Music Group and Vivendi, a French multimedia conglomerate.

Bolloré’s share price moved up 5 percent on news of the negotiations, which “in no way guarantee an acquisition in the end,” CMA CEO Rudolphe Saadé said in a public statement.

Bolloré is getting out of the logistics business because competing with the industry’s rapidly expanding leaders would require major investments, a person familiar told the Financial Times.

CMA reaped windfall profits from the post-COVID global shipping rush, banking $24.9 billion in profits last year.

The company plans to use its cash to build a logistics business carrying goods from the factory door to last-mile delivery for Amazon and Walmart customers, among others, Saadé has said.

CMA already has made four related purchases, including a portion of Air France. 

CMA could buy its way to become one of the world’s five leaders in logistics, one unnamed analyst said to the FT.

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