LDA silent over rumours of collapse in CMA CGM talks
French shipping group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs declined to comment today on a report that the Louis Dreyfus group and investment bank Goldman Sachs have dropped out of talks regarding investment in struggling liner shipping group, CMA CGM.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs was not specifically mentioned in the report but is thought to have been involved in the discussions alongside its former parent, the diversified Louis Dreyfus group.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs chairman Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, who remains a shareholder in the Louis Dreyfus group, has made no secret of his interest in participating in efforts to provide fellow French shipping company CMA CGM with much needed fresh funding.
Earlier this week he told Lloyd"s List :?As a French company, as a French group, but also as a person who has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the French shipping network and to promote French shipping, I do not believe that I can be totally neutral and see a fine company like CMA CGM go through real difficulties.?
He indicated, however, that he was still lacking information about CMA CGM"s situation and prospects.
?At this stage, we do not have a clear enough view of the company"s situation and of its immediate future,? he said.
At the Louis Dreyfus group and Goldman Sachs, there was no-one immediately able to comment on the report, which was published by the French business newswire, Wansquare, and which cited unidentified CMA CGM creditors as its source.
CMA CGM is understood to be looking for at least $400m-500m in fresh funds from investors.
Visibility regarding the group"s future is clouded, however, by the fact that it is still engaged in talks with its banks regarding the restructuring of its $5.6bn debt and with Korean shipyards regarding a reprogramming of its huge newbuilding orderbook.
Other investors believed to be interested in investing in the shipping group are France"s Butler Capital Partners, Apollo Management of the US, an unidentified Qatari fund and the French government sovereign investment fund, FSI.