CMA CGM and Maersk Line have entered into a binding agreement for CMA CGM to acquire Mercosul Line, one of the leading players in Brazil’s domestic container shipping market.
The acquisition of Mercosul Line would allow CMA CGM to strengthen its service offering to and from South America – the French ocean carrier said in a statement – most notably in Brazil, a market with a “strong potential for development, especially on cabotage and door-to-door services”. CMA CGM said this activity is part of its core strategy, which is to develop intra-regional sea transportation links and complementary services such as logistics.
The Mercosul transaction is subject to Brazilian regulatory approval and the closing of Maersk’s Hamburg Süd acquisition. At the earliest, the integration of Mercosul within CMA CGM will start at the same time as the Hamburg Süd integration, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017. Until then, Mercosul Line will continue business as usual.
CMA CGM chief executive officer Rodolphe Saadé said: “The acquisition of Mercosul represents a milestone in CMA CGM’s development strategy in South America. It is a well-managed company and we will leverage this platform to expand our footprint and service offerings to and from Latin America… as a result, CMA CGM will be able to propose complete door-to-door services.”
CMA CGM said the transaction will ensure that the cabotage sector in Brazil remains competitive and that customers continue to benefit from a comprehensive choice of carriers.
Launched in 1996 and acquired by Maersk in 2006, Mercosul Line is a specialist in the Brazilian internal transport market. Its fleet of four ships operates in Brazil and South America.