(Adds details, comments in paragraphs 6-7, 11-13)
By Ivana Sekularac
ZEEBRUGGE, Belgium Dec 18 CMA CGM,
the world's third-largest container group, plans to list shares
on the Paris Stock Exchange to get easier access to financing as
low freight rates pressure margins, its deputy chief executive
Rodolphe Saade, whose family owns CMA CGM, said in an
interview on Tuesday the group planned to complete the listing
by the end of 2014 but did not say how much money it wanted to
raise or what percentage would be floated in an initial public
"It will enable us to find financing. It will be easier for
us to secure bank loans as a listed company," Saade said, adding
that the group planned to appoint an adviser for the listing in
The Marseilles, France-based firm has been through a
turbulent three years. The global economic downturn in 2009
triggered heavy losses and a restructuring, and last year
another slump in freight squeezed its finances again.
CMA CGM said last month it was on course for a full-year
profit and expected to finalise a debt restructuring deal with
banks in January.
Saade said the group would get a financial injection of $250
million by the end of January to reassure banks and keep the
French sovereign fund FSI will provide $150 million, and the
remainder will come from the Saade family and Turkish
shareholders the Yildirim family.
CMA CGM also plans to sell 49 percent of its terminal
business to a Chinese investor and expects to complete the deal
in the first quarter of next year, Saade said.
"The transaction will include 15 out of 30 terminals
operated by (container terminal operator) Terminal Link," Saade
Saade said Africa, Russia and Latin America would be the
company's main growth areas in 2013.
"We expect to see growth of between 5 and 10 percent in
those markets," he said.
He spoke while on board the Marco Polo container ship, which
CMA CGM said is the largest container ship in the world. The
ship will sail between China and the ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam
and Zeebrugge, carrying goods including TV sets from Asia, Saade
The ship was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine
Engineering and is 396 metres long and 54 metres
(Editing by Sara Webb and Jane Baird)