CEVA Logistics rejects takeover bid by CMA CGM

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The board of directors at CEVA Logistics has rejected at takeover bid from CMA CGM, saying the offer of CHF 30 per share is too low.

The French shipping group announced a public tender offer for all publicly held registered share of CEVA Logistics with a nominal value of CHF 0.1 each on 26 November 2018.

Today (28 January) CMA CGM published a prospectus for the public tender offer on CEVA shares with an offer of CHF 30 per share, but the board concluded that due to a revised business plan, the price of CHF 40 would be more suitable.

The board of directors at CEVA concluded that the offer of CHF 30 is “reasonable from a financial perspective” and the offer provides “a fair exit opportunity for shareholders who wish to receive cash for their CEVA shares”.

It recommends shareholders could realise a higher value with their continuing investment due to the growth potential of CEVA’s business, the effects of the acquisition of the freight management business of CMA CGM and the strategic partnership between CEVA and CMA CGM.

The key financial highlights of the business plan are CEVA’s 2021 revenue target exceeding $9 billion, stronger footprint in ocean freight management, expected EBITDA of $470-490 million in 2021, and an intensified business relationship with CMA CGM “while keeping an arm’s length relationship”.

Rolf Watter, chairman of the board of CEVA says: “The Board of Directors, with the support of independent external advisors challenged the new business plan, has validated it and fully trusts CEVA’s management team in its capability to successfully execute the plan. For those reasons, management and the Board will not tender the shares and do not recommend shareholders to tender either.”

Xavier Urbain, CEO of CEVA says: “I am proud to be putting the whole organisation on track to accelerate our transformation and turnaround action plan in the next three years and beyond.

“This can be achieved by a combination of our commercial and sales focus, cross selling with CMA CGM customers, our own productivity actions, the integration of CMA CGM Logistics within CEVA and sharing resources with CMA CGM in the field of non-strategic procurement and administrative functions.”