The move does not come as a complete surprise, as there have been rumors for some time that Bollore was planning to sell its African logistics business. Now, however, facts have obviously been created. According to the French company, shipping line MSC is the hottest candidate for a takeover.
Wherever you go in Africa, you are never very far away from the next Bolloré station. Bolloré Logistics Africa operates a network of 250 subsidiaries spread across 47 states. Of particular interest for shipping line MSC is Bolloré’s presence in the 42 ports where it holds 16 container terminal concessions (Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Togo, Guinea-Conakry, etc.), 7 roll-on/roll-off terminals, 2 wood terminals, a river terminal, and conventional stevedoring activity.
Wide field of activities
Given this massive presence on the African continent, and specifically the maritime infrastructure managed by the French agent, it is not surprising that MSC's interest in a takeover of the company’s African logistics division has been aroused, as announced today (20DEC21). According to Bolloré’s release, it has received an offer from the MSC Group to acquire 100% of Bolloré Africa Logistics. This includes all of the Bolloré Group’s transport and logistics activities in Africa on the basis of an enterprise value, net of minority interests, of €5.7 billion. The Bolloré Group has granted the MSC Group exclusivity until 31MAR22 to enable the MSC Group, further to an additional due diligence phase and contractual negotiations, to submit a put option.
Bolloré’s Africa business is legend. Besides ocean, road, and air activities, warehousing and terminal operations, Bolloré Africa Logistics manages the entire administrative and customs procedures for its customers in 47 countries on the African continent, both before and after transportation, import and export, as well as the carriage of goods to their final destination mostly by a large fleet of trucks.
Bolloré’s media activities are not part of the forthcoming deal
This is complemented by three rail concessions: Sitarail, Camrail, and Benirail, enabling smoother flows of goods and people between the border countries, and giving landlocked hinterland countries such as Uganda, Zambia, Niger, or Rwanda, access to the sea.
In its announcement, Bolloré management points out that completion of the sale would require the approval of regulatory and competition authorities, as well as of certain counterparties of Bolloré Africa Logistics.
However, even after a successful takeover by MSC, the Bolloré Group will remain very present in Africa through its diverse media activities; above all, with Canal+, the number one pay-TV operator in French-speaking African countries, and as a major shareholder of MultiChoice, the leading pay-TV operator in English-speaking African regions.
The Group will also continue to develop its activities in numerous sectors such as communication, entertainment, telecoms, publishing, and more.
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