CMA CGM to sell Le Ponant cruise operation to private equity investor

Le-LevantJULY 2, 2012 — French container shipping giant CMA CGM Group has agreed to sell its boutique cruise shipping operation, La Compagnie du Ponant, to European private equity investor Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint focuses on the acquisition of companies valued up to €1 billion. With some €11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition.

Founded in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant operates French-flag cruise yachts with capacities ranging from 32 to 132 cabins. With itineraries including the Arctic and the Antarctic, it employs 580 people (500 of them seagoing) and hosted 20,000 passengers in 2011 for a turnover of €80 million.

CMA CGM says the agreement with Bridgepoint will offer Compagnie du Ponant  "the resources it needs to fullfil its ambitions, maintain its growth momentum and take its international expansion to a new level."

The parties have agreed to take until the end of August to finalize the transaction.

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