Shipping article(s)
August 11, 2015

Recent media reports suggesting Neptune Orient Lines is being sold off have prompted a series of strong concerns from the Singapore-based company’s head office, and the inevitable press statement clarifying the company’s intentions in the immediate future.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Singapore state-investment company Temasek Holdings has put its US$1.7 billion container shipping company up for sale.


Self Photos / Files - APL_TurquoiseHeavily indebted, money-losing NOL, which is 65% owned by Temasek, has reportedly been shopping around for prospective buyers in recent months, and has been in talks with one, although the two sides have been unable to agree on a price.


NOL has previously been in merger discussions with Hapag-Lloyd and OOIL, although it’s unclear if these potential merger targets would be interested in acquiring the company. The sale of NOL was made easier after NOL sold its profitable logistics business for US$1.2 billion to Japan’s Kintetsu World Express.


In response to these reports, NOL has issued a strong statement clarifying the entire situation. According to that statement, “the company is focussed on returning its core liner business to sustainable growth and profitability. NOL has invested in 32 new and modern ships and continued to streamline its costs and after the sale of APL Logistics, has a much stronger balance sheet.”


The statement said that “the company has a duty to consider its options to maximize shareholder value as part of its conduct of normal business, and has not made any decision with respect to, and has not entered into any agreement for the potential sale of the company. Neither is there any assurance that any agreement for the sale of the company will be entered into.”


NOL also advised its shareholders and investors to exercise caution when dealing in their shares and other securities. The company says it will release a further announcement if and when there are any material developments.



By Paul Richardson

Sea Freight Correspondent | London

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