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NOL in exclusive talks with CMA CGM over potential takeover

NEPTUNE Orient Lines (NOL) on Saturday announced that it has entered into an exclusivity agreement with France's CMA CGM for a potential acquisition of NOL by way of a pre-conditional voluntary general offer.

CMA CGM - the world's third-biggest container shipper by capacity - will have exclusivity until 11.59pm Singapore time on Dec 7, 2015.

Until then, CMA CGM will have to "complete customary confirmatory due diligence on NOL and its subsidiaries and negotiate the definitive agreements to be entered into in relation to the offer", said NOL in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) announcement.

The sale of NOL will be subject to approval by Temasek Holdings, which according to Temasek's annual report, owned 65 per cent of the liner company as at March 2015. NOL's single largest shareholder, Lentor Investments, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.

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"There is no assurance that such negotiation will result in any definitive agreement or transaction or that any offer for NOL will be made. NOL will make an appropriate announcement in the event that there are any material developments," added NOL.