Yildirim Holding is seeking buyers for its stake in CMA CGM, the world’s third-biggest container shipping company, as part of a plan to acquire US maritime-terminal operator Ports America Holdings and become one of the top 10 biggest container-terminal operators in the world by 2025.
According to information from Bloomberg, Yildirim Holding's Chairman Yuksel Yildirim has said that the company holds a 24% interest in CMA CGM and is seeking a financial investor from Asia or the Persian Gulf to join a bid by its Yilport Holding AS unit for Ports America.
Yildirim has stated that investment banks have valued the holding, which he bought for $600 million over a period spanning 2010 and 2011, at US$2.5 billion to $3 billion based on recent deals in the industry.
Yildirim said: “We will either exit our investment completely or remain as an ordinary shareholder.”
He added that a plan to sell the stake in the French company back to its majority owners failed in 2015.
Ports America, the largest independent maritime terminal operator on the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts with 42 locations, is owned by Oaktree Capital Group’s private-equity unit, Highstar Capital.
Yildirim said that Yilport, which has $1.7 billion including bank loans and equity to finance its share of the acquisition, is facing difficulties in finding a financial partner for the New Jersey-based operator, but that talks with six strategic investor groups in China could see it raise finances by selling half of its stake in a $5 billion project.
Yilport is a part of Yildirim Holding and operates 26 maritime terminals in regions such as Turkey, Portugal, Ecuador, Sweden and Malta.
It aims to achieve $2.2 billion of sales this year from $1.6 billion a year ago.
Yildirim added that the Yildirim Holding's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, is expected to rise to $719 million from $465 million in 2016.
He added that Yilport’s revenue is forecast to reach $650 million with Ebitda rising to $208 million this year from $560 million and $140 million, last year.
Yilport Holding recently invested in Puerto Bolívar container terminal by installing two mobile harbour cranes amid a project to create one of Latin America’s most advanced container terminals.