[PARIS] French shipping firm CMA CGM has obtained firm commitments from banks to finance the takeover of Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), which has a market value of US$2.2 billion, two people familiar with the deal said.
CMA CGM, which is in exclusive talks to buy a nearly 67 per cent stake in NOL from state investor Temasek Holdings, has tapped lenders including HSBC, BNP Paribas and JPMorgan to help finance the transaction through a syndication process, the sources said.
As the talks approach a Dec 7 deadline, NOL shares are hovering close to their highest level since February 2013.
Family-owned CMA CGM is ranked as the world's third-largest container shipping firm and a takeover of NOL would boost its position on trans-Pacific routes.
CMA CGM, NOL, Temasek and the banks declined to comment.