CMA CGM drops Wincanton pursuit


French carrier CMA CGM has decided to drop its bid for British logistics firm Wincanton amid a rival takeover bid.

On Tuesday, CMA CGM’s CEVA Logistics said it would not increase its takeover offer after being outdone by US-based warehousing firm GXO Logistics.

Last week, the owner of Clipper Logistics logged a bid under which shareholders would get 605 pence in cash for each Wincanton share held – up by more than a quarter from CEVA Logistics’ at-the-time improved offer of 480 pence per share.

The same week, the London-listed Wincanton threw its weight behind the $965m bid from GXO, having previously accepted CEVA’s offer.

The Rodolphe Saadé-led liner, which recently completed the $5.25bn acquisition of Bolloré Logistics, made its first move on Wincanton on January 19 at 450 pence or a 52% premium to the company’s stock price the day before the offer, while XGO’s bid was at a 104% premium to Wincanton’s closing share price on that day.

The acquisition of Wincanton would have signified notable growth in CMA CGM’s logistics operations, reflecting the company’s overarching plan to increase its market share in the logistics industry, especially in the UK

CMA CGM had until close of business tomorrow to counter GXO but instead said it would allow its offer for Wincanton to lapse – most likely setting the stage for the rival to close the deal.

“As a global leader, CMA CGM will continue deploying its growth roadmap, leveraging its clear business strategy and very robust balance sheet, while always maintaining a clear focus on value creation with financial discipline in any acquisition,” the company said in a statement.


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