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January 29, 2019 10:45 AM, EST

Ceva Logistics Board Rejects Stock Buyout Bid by CMA CGM

CevaTT File Photo

Ceva Logistics’ board of directors has recommended that shareholders reject a tender offer from CMA CGM to buy all of the publicly held shares of stock in the Swiss company, saying the price of 30 Swiss francs per share is too low.

CMA CGM, based in Marseilles, France, already owns a minority stake in Ceva Logistics and had agreed to combine its freight management activities with Ceva in 2019.

In the formal tender offer made Nov. 26, CMA CGM officials said the company’s purpose was to give Ceva shareholders “who do not believe in the strategic rationale of the partnership between CMA and Ceva the option to exit their investment.”

Ceva

A CMA CGM ship. (Tim Rue/Port of Long Beach)

CMA CGM said it made the offer to buy 27.3 million shares out of a total of 55.2 million shares outstanding and that the offer would extend from Feb. 12 to March 12.

In urging shareholders to reject the offer, Ceva’s board of directors said it believes shareholders will be able to realize more value by keeping their investment in the company.

Ceva CEO Xavier Urbain said he expects the company to generate higher growth in revenue and profits over the next three years, in part, because of the integration of CMA CGM’s freight management business and “keeping an arm’s length relationship” with the French company.

Board Chairman Rolf Watter said members “fully trust Ceva’s management team to successfully execute” the business plan and said management and board members would not tender their shares.

Ceva Logistics ranks No. 13 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of largest logistics companies in North America.

CMA CGM Group ranks No. 9 on the TT Top 50 list of largest global freight carriers.