French container shipping giant CMA CGM will know by April 15 whether European Union antitrust regulators will approve its $2.4 billion bid for Singaporean rival Neptune Orient Lines to strengthen its No. 3 spot in the industry.
CMA requested clearance from the European Commission for its largest-ever deal on Tuesday, according to a filing on the EU competition authority’s website.
The Commission can either clear the deal with or without concessions or extend the preliminary review if it has serious concerns about the impact of the takeover on consumers and rivals.
German container shipping company Hapag Lloyd and Chilean peer Compania Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) secured EU approval for their tie-up two years ago only after CSAV agreed to withdraw from two shipping alliances covering trade between Northern Europe and the Caribbean, and South America’s west coast.
The shipping industry is seeking to forge alliances and mergers to offset overcapacity, low freight rates and a weak global economy. CMA CGM ranks behind No. 1 Maersk Line and Swiss peer MSC.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Susan Thomas)