FRANCE: In a move intended to expand its Ceva Logistics subsidiary, Marseille-based shipping conglomerate CMA CGM has acquired almost 100% of automotive and contract logistics specialist Gefco, which was previously majority-owned by Russian state railway group RZD.

Founded in 1949, Gefco operates in 47 countries and has around 11 500 staff, reporting a turnover of €4·2m in 2021. It was originally a subsidiary of Peugeot-Citroën, working closely with French national railway SNCF. However, the car manufacturer, then known as PSA, sold a 75% stake to RZD in 2012 for €800m as part of a restructuring. PSA subsequently merged with Fiat-Chrysler to form Stellantis, which continued to hold the remaining 25%.

RZD and Stellantis had reportedly been looking to dispose of Gefco last year, with the business valued at around €2bn. In the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, CMA CGM is thought to have acquired the RZD stake at a price which would value the company at €450m to €500m. It has also reached terms to purchase the 25% held by Stellantis, subject to regulatory approval. As part of a ‘special procedure’, the European Commission has authorised CMA CGM to acquire the entire business immediately, pending final approval at a later date.

‘This acquisition allows us to take a new step in our development strategy and strengthens our position as a global player in transport and logistics’, said CMA CGM Group CEO Rodolphe Saadé. ‘With Gefco, our subsidiary Ceva Logistics has become the world leader in automotive logistics, having strengthened its position in e-business with the acquisition of Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Service.’ The shipping group has also taken over the French home delivery and B2C logistics operator Colis Privé.

‘With more than 70 years of expertise in industrial logistics, Gefco is proud to join the CMA CGM Group’, added its CEO Luc Nadal. He said the move ‘will allow Gefco to continue our activity in a stable environment, will support the transformation we have initiated and will strengthen our development in the years to come.’ The link with Ceva Logistics would bring ‘many opportunities for Gefco in terms of innovation and sustainable growth, particularly internationally’, he believed.