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MSC wants to buy French freight forwarder Clasquin

Caption: © Clasquin

The world’s largest container liner shipping company Mediterranen Shipping Company (MSC) apparently wants to expand its business into freight forwarding, similar to its competitors Maersk and CMA CGM.

The MSC shipping company of the Italian Aponte family has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire the French freight forwarder Clasquin. This was announced by the publicly listed logistics company headquartered in Lyon yesterday after the close of trading[ds_preview].

Accordingly, the MSC subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services (SAS) has already approached Clasquin’s main shareholders Yves Revol – the company’s former CEO and current Executive Chairman – and the company Olymp with a takeover bid.

In a first step, the world’s largest liner shipping company intends to acquire the combined 42% of the two companies’ shares and then make a public takeover bid for all remaining shares. According to the announcement, the purchase price is based on an enterprise value of €325 million. Subject to a due diligence review (“audit”), SAS will grant the major shareholders a put option for the sale of their shares during the first quarter. At the same time, the transaction still has to be reviewed by the antitrust authorities.

MSC grows with Clasquin

In terms of size, Clasquin is comparable to major medium-sized freight forwarders such as Leschaco, A. Hartrodt or Röhlig in Germany. Transport performance in 2022 amounted to around 264,000 TEU in sea freight and 69,000 t in air freight. Gross profit amounted to € 140 million and revenue to € 877 million.

In recent years, MSC has attracted attention mainly through massive ship acquisitions and investments in the ports and in the intermodal sector, including the recently agreed acquisition of a 49.9% stake in the Hamburg-based cargo handling group HHLA. MSC is not yet active in freight forwarding, i.e. the organization of sea and air freight transports (door-to-door) and across various carriers. However, the shipping company already has financial interests in the industry, for example in the Italian company Savino del Bene. (mph)

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