Yildirim Holding is looking to sell its 24% stake in CMA CGM as it plans to strengthen attempts to buy Ports America.
“We will either exit our investment completely or remain as an ordinary shareholder,” the comapny’s president and CEO Robert Yuksel Yildirim told Bloomberg.
Yildirim is seeking a financial investor to join the bid by its terminal-operating arm Yilport Holding for Ports America.
The company has set a target for Yilport to become one of the ten largest container terminal operators in the world by 2025.
The Turkish family-owned company has mandated China Citic Bank Corp. to find investors from Asia or the Persian Gulf for its stake in the world’s third largest shipping line.
Yildirim bought the stake for US$600m in 2010 and it is now valued at between US$2.5bn to US$3bn. It already tried to sell the 24% stake back in 2015 but was unsuccessful.
Ports America, which is the largest independent terminal operator on the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts with 42 locations, is owned by Oaktree Capital Group’s private-equity unit, Highstar Capital.
Yilport is having trouble finding a partner to buy out Ports America according to Robert Yildirim’s interview with Bloomberg. “Alliances and consolidations in the container-shipping industry in the past year have widened the difference between what buyers expect and what sellers are ready to pay,” he said.
Yilport has an exclusivity agreement signed with Oaktree that will expire at the end of July, and aims to complete the acquisition by the end of this year.