Marseille, September 3rd, 2012 - CMA CGM Group, through its parent company Merit, announced today that it has completed the sale of La Compagnie du Ponant to Bridgepoint, as part of the Group’s commitment to refocusing on its strategic businesses.

Created in 1988 and acquired by CMA CGM in 2004, La Compagnie du Ponant is the only French cruise operator. It is positioned in the premium segment, with three ships and 580 employees (of which 500 seamen). In 2011, it carried 20,000 passengers and reported €80 million in revenue. A new vessel will join the fleet in June 2013.
Backed by its current teams and its successfully developed niche positioning, La Compagnie du Ponant will have the resources to pursue its growth and to take its international expansion to a new level through an ambitious business plan, while retaining its identity, values and the talented people which have driven its success and forged its reputation. The current management team will remain a part of the company’s new phase and will continue to build its future with dedication and enthusiasm, thereby diligently preserving its fundamentals and the sustainability of its original concept.
The leader in luxury cruises in Europe’s French-speaking markets, La Compagnie du Ponant is also positioned at the top of the niche for polar cruises in the Antarctic and Arctic, thanks to the size and features of its yachts especially designed for these regions. These market segments are not only less sensitive to economic fluctuations, they are also seeing steady, significant growth in Europe and the United States.

CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company and ranked number one in France, achieved a turnover of 14.9 billion USD. Operating a fleet of 394 vessels, the Group serves more than 400 ports around the world. In 2011, it carried more than 10 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). With a presence on every continent and in 150 countries through its network of 650 agencies and branch offices, the Group employs 18,000 people worldwide.

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