Economy

Bolloré sells its logistics activities in Africa to the shipowner MSC

Bolloré sells its logistics activities in Africa to the shipowner MSC
Written by on100dayloans

The Bolloré group announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC for the sale of its logistics activities in Africa, the group’s emblematic branch for 5.7 billion euros, an amount initially proposed at the end of December by MSC.

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The announcement comes as the period of exclusive negotiations between the two groups was coming to an end for this activity which involves more than 20 countries on the African continent, including a network of sixteen port concessions, warehouses and road and rail hubs. The operation should be finalized “by the end of the first quarter of 2023”, specifies the Bolloré group in a press release.

Exclusive to MSC

While the other players in the maritime sector Maersk and CMA-CGM were cited among the potential buyers, Bolloré had granted MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), the world giant in container transport, exclusivity until March 31 to deliver a promise of ‘purchase.

Based in Geneva, MSC belongs to the Italian Aponte family and claims a fleet of 560 ships and more than 100,000 employees, with the management of terminals in Singapore, Long Beach (California) or Rotterdam.

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“The completion of the sale would be subject to obtaining regulatory authorizations and the competent competition authorities as well as the agreement of some of the counterparties of Bolloré Africa Logistics”, explained the Bolloré group.

Cyrille Bolloré, who succeeded his father as CEO of the group in 2019, accompanied by Philippe Labonne, CEO of Bolloré Ports, and the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, close to the family, had gone to beginning of the year in Abidjan to convince the Ivorian authorities to authorize the sale of strategic assets.

Corruption and increased competition for Bolloré

In 2021, the highly profitable African logistics branch, which employs more than 20,000 people, saw its revenues jump 8% to 2.2 billion euros. But faced with increasingly expensive investments and growing competition from Chinese operators, Vincent Bolloré’s group wanted to sell it.

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It was also at the heart of corruption scandals in Togo and Guinea for which the group had agreed in 2021 to pay a fine of 12 million euros to French justice and to be followed by the French Anti-Corruption Agency.

The group recalls, however, that it will retain a “significant presence in Africa”, in particular via Canal + and investments in communication (Havas), entertainment or publishing, activities in which the group assures that it “will continue its developments “.

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