Following its meeting under the chairmanship of Jacques R. Saadé, the Board of Directors of CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company, announced today that a final agreement has been reached between CMA CGM shareholders and YILDIRIM Group of Turkey .

The agreement enables CMA CGM to strengthen its equity base and secure the financing of its investment plan.

Under its terms, YILDIRIM Group will invest $500 million in CMA CGM by acquiring five-year ORA equity notes giving access to 20% of CMA CGM’s share capital. YILDIRIM Group will also be given three seats on the 10-member Board of Directors. The historic family shareholder will retain a majority interest with 80% of outstanding shares and voting rights.

YILDIRIM Group is an international family-run holding company established in 1963 in Samsun , Turkey . It is currently present in chrome ore mining and trading, ferrochrome production and trading, coal trading, fertilizer production and trading, shipping, shipbuilding, and port management. As a multi-industry corporation and one of the fastest growing companies in Turkey , YILDIRIM today enjoys the competitive advantage of capabilities recognised in Turkey , which over the years has successfully developed in the global marketplace. Its values, unique positioning and international reputation make it a privileged investor for CMA CGM.

“This alliance with YILDIRIM Group will enable us to strengthen CMA CGM’s balance sheet,” said Jacques R. Saadé, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CMA CGM. “We have taken the time to choose the right partner, who shares our values and vision of CMA CGM’s future.  The arrival of a new investor will provide our Group with additional resources to support and step up its growth and represents a major milestone in our history."

“Our decision to invest in CMA CGM attests to the quality of this world leader created 32 years ago, as well as to the capabilities of its management and teams,” said Robert Yüksel Yildirim, President and CEO of YILDIRIM Group. “Its shipping expertise, worldwide presence and efficient fleet have enabled it to emerge from the crisis in even better shape. We are confident in CMA CGM’s potential and intend to make a privileged contribution to its growth.”

The agreement comes in a favourable environment for the Group. Indeed, for the first nine months of 2010, revenue totalled $10.5 billion, up 38% over the prior-year period, while freight volumes rose by nearly 18% year-on-year to 6.8 million TEU. The Group achieved an operating margin (EBITDA) for the period of 18.5%, one of the best performances of its sector.

These good results are attributable to the Group's strategic choices, reflected in its investment policy in large vessels and its pro-active cost reduction plan, together with the resumption of world trade and in particular, the growth in volumes on the Asia-Europe (up 21.1%) and Asia-US lines (up 15.4%) in the first nine months of the year.

After the usual seasonal decline in volumes and freight rates this autumn, the year will end with very good results.

To keep pace with the growth in freight volumes, CMA CGM has taken delivery of 12 new ships since the beginning of 2010, bringing the number of owned ships to a total of 92. New ships have also been chartered in, bringing the total fleet to 400 units. In 2011, the Group expects to receive nine new owned vessels, including six of more than 10,000 TEUs.

Key consolidated figures for the nine months ended 30 September**

Revenue in $ millions 10,521 7,264
EBITDA in $ millions 1,951 (727)
Operating Margin 18.5% -9.5%
Net Profit in $ millions 1,412 (852)
Transported Volumes in TEU 6.8 5.7

* Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. ** Figures that will be presented to the Board of Directors on 29 November 2010


CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping company and is ranked number one in France . Operating a fleet of 400 vessels, the Group serves more than 420 ports around the world. In 2009, it carried 7.9 millions 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 16,400 people worldwide.

About YILDIRIM Group

YILDIRIM Group is the world’s largest lumpy chrome ore producer and also the world’s second largest producer of High Carbon Ferrochrome. YILDIRIM Group currently owns 14 vessels (bulk carriers and chemical tankers) and 12 more vessels are ordered and under construction. The Group operates two ports in Turkey and develops Turkey ’s the most advanced container terminal with all state-of-the-art technologies. In addition, the Group has several overseas investments and offices; the Group employs nearly 5,000 people worldwide.

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