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Monday, 23 April 2012

Turkey’s Yildirim Group mulls acquisition of 49% stake in CMA CGM's Terminal Link

Turkey’s Yildirim Group aims to buy a 49% stake in Terminal Link, the CMA CGM subsidiary which owns stakes in over 20 port terminal assets worldwide.

In an exclusive interview with PFI, Yildirim Group President, Robert Yuksel Yildirim, said he was considering the purchase of a stake in Terminal Link as part of the company's bid to become, as he modestly described it, a ‘junior’ global ports operator.

“We are considering a move to buy Terminal Link if it portfolio is good and workable and if price wise it is right,” Mr Yildirim said.

“Terminal Link is a holding company, it has a lot of small investments at ports. We are analysing the possibility [ to an acquisition]” he said.

Yildirim Group's potential purchase of Terminal Link comes after it acquired a 50% of CMA CGM ‘s Malta Freeport terminal, now a multi-user port, for €200 ($262m) last year having initially bailed out Cma Cgm in 2010 with a $500 million bond investment in the company.

Mr Yildirim said that CMA CGM had decided to sell a 49% stake in Terminal Link to order to raise finance to pay off debt. CMA CGM posted losses of $30m for 2011.

Mr Yildirim explained that his company was embarking on expansion plan to become a global port operator,  with the  acquisition of terminals in Latin America and Africa as well as partnerships in greenfield projects.

Apart from Terminal Link, the Yildirim Group is holding talks to acquire about 10 port terminals in West Africa and in Latin America as well as three ports in Turkey, Mr Yildirim said.

Mr Yildirim pointed out he was far more cautious about buying Terminal Link than the Malta Freeport terminal.

“We are [currently] not as keen as we were for the Malta terminal is the portfolio structure is a little different,” Mr Yildirim said.

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