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New chief executive for CMA CGM

New chief executive for CMA CGM
The new board of directors of CMA CGM will meet for the first time on Jan. 18 to elect a chief executive to steer the troubled French ocean container carrier.

The new board of directors of CMA CGM will meet for the first time on Jan. 18 to elect a chief executive to steer the troubled French ocean container carrier.

The new board of directors of CMA CGM will meet for the first time on Jan. 18 to elect a chief executive to steer the troubled French ocean container carrier through a restructuring of its $5.6 billion of debt.

The nine member board, which was elected at an extraordinary shareholders meeting Dec. 23 as part of a deal with CMA CGM"s creditor banks, will officially appoint Philippe Soulie, head of Marseilles-based construction group Cnim, as chief executive.

Jacques Saadé, 72, who founded the family-owned company in 1978, will be appointed chairman of the board, a position that will remove him from day-to-day management of the world"s third largest ocean carrier.

CMA CGM agreed to loosen family control of the carrier in December to obtain an urgently needed $500 million credit line which will become available in mid-January.

The Marseilles-based company also has made provision to enlarge the board by three members to represent potential new investors which it has approached to inject between $300 million and $400 million of fresh capital.

CMA CGM, meanwhile, is continuing negotiations with its 63 creditor banks to restructure its $5.6 billion debt. It is also in talks with Asian shipyards over cancelling and delaying delivery of two thirds of the 45 container ships it has ordered.

The carrier, which lost $515 million on $4.8 billion in revenue in the first half of 2009, said it expects to return to profit in 2010.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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