NOL appoints new CEO, CFO amid takeover by France's CMA CGM

NOL appoints new CEO, CFO amid takeover by France's CMA CGM

Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NOL)'s new chief executive officer Nicolas Sartini and chief financial officer Serge Corbel are from France's CMA CGM, which owns about 81.17 per cent of NOL's shares as of Monday (Jun 13).

SINGAPORE: Amid a successful takeover offer by France's CMA CGM, Singapore shipping container firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) announced a new chief executive officer (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO) on Tuesday (Jun 14).

New CEO Nicolas Sartini takes over from Ng Yat Chung, who has been group president and CEO of NOL since October 2011. Mr Ng will continue as an executive director on the NOL Board and special adviser to the chairman, CMA CGM and NOL said in a joint press release.

Serge Corbel takes over from Cedric Foo, who had been CFO since January 2007. Both Mr Sartini and Mr Corbel are from CMA CGM, and the former's most recent role was as the French shipping giant's Group Senior Vice President.

CMA CGM offered to buy NOL at S$1.30 a share on Dec 7 last year; majority shareholder Temasek, which owned about 67 per cent of NOL, had agreed to sell its stake in the company.

The NOL board was reconstituted the same day that CMA CGM's offer went unconditional, last Thursday, with Rodolphe Saadé, the vice chairman of CMA CGM, succeeding former NOL Board chairman Kwa Chong Seng.

Mr Kwa will remain an independent director on the Board, both companies said in the release.

As of 5pm on Monday, the French firm owned about 81.17 per cent of NOL's shares, according to a circular on the Singapore Exchange. The company has said that it intends to delist NOL when it owns at least 90 per cent of the latter's shares. Minority shareholders have until Jul 18 to sell their shares to CMA CGM at the offered price.

NOL, Southeast Asia's largest container shipping firm, has been losing money in recent years. Last month, it reported a loss of S$142m for the first quarter of the year.

CMA CGM, in announcing the buyout last year, said that it would choose Singapore as its regional headquarters and commit to bringing more volume to Singapore's ports.

Source: CNA/mz