21 September 2019
Debt-laden NOL has been losing money. Photo:
Debt-laden NOL has been losing money. Photo:

Temasek puts Neptune Orient Lines up for sale

Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. has put its US$1.7 billion container-shipping company up for sale, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

Temasek owns 65 percent of debt-laden, money-losing Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (NOL).

The Singapore-listed firm has been shopped to prospective buyers in recent months, the report said.

NOL was earlier in merger discussions with shippers including Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG and Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. (00316.HK).

The industry, which has suffered from overcapacity in recent years, is under pressure to consolidate.

The big three by capacity, Denmark’s A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Co. and France’s CMA CGM SA, planned an alliance that was scuttled last year by China’s Ministry of Commerce.

One of the world’s largest shippers, NOL was founded in 1968 as Singapore’s national shipping line. The 35 percent not owned by Temasek trades on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The company’s shares have been poor performers.

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