GEFCO car transporter wagons, source: GEFCO

CMA CGM officially the new owner of GEFCO

Image: GEFCO

The deal is sealed. CMA CGM is acquiring nearly 100 per cent of the shares of GEFCO, the European automotive logistics leader. This was announced by the logistics giant on Friday 8 April. The acquisition has been authorised by the European Commission, but is still waiting for the license of the European Commission’s competition authority.

CMA CGM said that the acquisition of GEFCO represents another step forward in its growth strategy, strengthening its position as a global player in the transport and logistics sector. GEFCO will also continue to operate within a secure regulatory framework and will benefit from the group’s leading technological and logistical capabilities to expand into its international markets.
life-or-death choices

Why needed

As for why “a safe regulatory framework” is emphasised, we have to start with GEFCO’s former shareholders. GEFCO is a French company and a European leader in contract logistics and a transport specialist in the automotive sector. The company was previously controlled by Russian State Railways (75%) and French-Italian automaker Stellantis (25%, which owns Peugeot, Fiat, Citroen, Chrysler and Opel).

As the EU has been expanding its list of sanctions on Russia, GEFCO began to realise that if it does not get rid of the holding of Rostec, the survival of GEFCO is at risk, and so is the global automotive logistics business of Stellantis, its largest customer and minority shareholder. So it signed a share repurchase agreement with Russian Railways, and turned to CMA CGM, which has a European background and strong qualifications.

Formal acquisition

Before CMA CGM publicly announced the acquisition, French media speculated that it would be the new owner of GEFCO. The shipping company has considerable financial strength and has been relying on acquisitions to seize its strategic position in the global logistics market. A few years ago, it acquired Ceva Logistics, another major player in the automotive logistics space, and now it says GEFCO will benefit from CEVA Logistics’ expertise and network to expand its business and customer portfolio, both of which will work together to grow into the world’s leading automotive logistics provider.

Luc Nadal, CEO of GEFCO, commented: “The project led by CMA CGM will allow GEFCO to continue its activities in a stable environment that will support the transformation programme we have launched and be able to bring about innovation and sustainable growth. Lots of opportunities.”

Author: Steven Don

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