French shipping group CMA CGM has agreed to buy the logistics operations of family-run conglomerate Bollore for an enterprise value of 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion), the two companies announced on Monday.
CMA CGM granted Bollore Group an option to sell the logistics business, which generated more than €7 billion in sales last year and employs 13,500 people.
Bollore said it would decide whether or not to exercise the option after consultation with employee representatives.
The two companies had announced exclusive talks about the deal for April 18.
Buying Bollore’s second-largest business would allow liquid middle-class CMA CGM, which has embarked on an acquisition spree after making big gains during the pandemic, to bolster its offering to provide end-to-end transportation services and supply chain management. The company said the deal would place it among the top five players in global logistics.
The split from the entity would significantly reduce the size of the conglomerate owned by billionaire Vincent Bollore, who sold his African ports and logistics business to shipping company MSC Group for €5.7 billion last year.
The group still owns Bollore Energy, a petroleum products distributor in France, but has increasingly focused on the media.
It is the largest shareholder in French media giant Vivendi, home of pay-TV group Canal Plus, and holds an 18% stake in Universal Music Group. Vivendi is in the process of buying French publishing and retail group Lagardere.
Bollore said the transaction price would be 4.65 billion euros before calculating debt and cash on closing date.
CMA CGM, which is privately controlled by the founding Saade family, has experienced a surge in profits over the past two years due to high freight rates and saturated supply chains.
It has used the profits to support an investment spree, including a stake in Air France-KLM, and, like its shipping rivals, has expanded into logistics.