Friday, September 25, 2009

Is CMA CGM looking for a bailout?

Could be.

From The Journal of Commerce

French ocean carrier CMA CGM is meeting with creditor banks and French finance ministry officials in Paris Sept. 25 to discuss its financial situation.

The talks will focus on how CMA CGM can tap the government’s strategic investment fund which aims to help strategically important French companies through the global economic downturn, according to French press reports.

CMA CGM, the world’s third largest ocean carrier, declined to confirm or deny the reports.

I don't blame them for trying to tap some of the government monies. They will need to raise some cash to survive the next few years, so why not try to get it from the government?

Of course, they really need to be cutting costs and getting efficient, so they can compete with all the asian carriers, who will dominate the industry over the next decade.

But, looks as if they are trying to hold the "Old Europe" together.

Earlier this month, CMA CGM founder and Chairman Jacques Saade urged European governments and banks to act to ensure Europe’s top carriers Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM survive container shipping’s deepest slump.

“I call on the competent authorities, banks and public bodies to protect the three big European maritime companies and ensure the survival of the maritime sector in Europe,” Saade said at a meeting of Medef, the French employers’ federation.

The French ship-owners association has lobbied the government to establish a $1.8 billion fund to help carriers meet banks’ demands for extra collateral to cover the fall in value of ships on order.

What they need to do is bite the bullet, and just cancel the orders for new ships.

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