CMA CGM Group enters into exclusive discussions to acquire La Méridionale

  • CMA CGM Group’s proposed acquisition of 100% of La Méridionale, a shipping company specializing in passenger and freight transport, will implement:
    • Turnaround of the company and preservation of the jobs of French seafarers under the 1st register flag,
    • Investment in the company’s fleet and energy transition
  • A new impetus that will be committed to preserving the regional identity of La Méridionale and ensuring territorial continuity between France and Corsica and continuing the links to Morocco.

CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air and logistics solutions, announces that it has entered into exclusive discussions with STEF Group to acquire 100% of La Méridionale, a mixed freight and passenger shipping company based in Marseille. The completion of this transaction is conditional upon the signature of the share transfer agreements, after information and consultation of the employee representative bodies, and authorizations from the various competition authorities.

CMA CGM’s expertise to develop a French maritime industry of excellence from Marseille and Corsica

With this acquisition, CMA CGM Group wishes to pursue its development in the Mediterranean, while strengthening the position of the port of Marseille and the French shipping industry.

The Group intends to turn around La Méridionale and restore its growth prospects. To this end, it will support its development by creating commercial complementarities in France and internationally, particularly the RORO service to Morocco, while preserving the jobs of French sailors on board its ships. It will also invest in the shipping company’s fleet and energy transition.

With the help of a dedicated management team based in Marseille, the new shareholder will be committed to preserving La Méridionale’s identity and reinforcing the quality of service for customers on the Corsica and Morocco routes, while respecting the spirit of passenger service that has made La Méridionale a success.

La Méridionale, a major player in the links between Marseille, Corsica and the Mediterranean

La Méridionale, created in 1931, now operates a daily freight and passenger service between Corsica and the continent, under a public service delegation with up to 13 crossings per week. The shipping company has also opened a regular line between Marseille and Morocco with weekly services. La Méridionale relies on nearly 600 people including 490 seafarers, with a fleet of 4 dedicated mixed vessels: the Pelagos, the Kalliste, the Piana, and the Girolata.

The company is recognized for its attention to its customers, the quality of services delivered on board as well as its ecological commitment. In January 2017, La Méridionale was the first company in France and the Mediterranean to connect its entire fleet of ships, operating for the public service of territorial continuity, to the land power supply during calls at the port of Marseille. In 2019, it will also be the first company to experiment with a particulate matter filter on its main and auxiliary engines, both at port and at sea.

A strong local presence and a shared history

Since its creation, Marseille and the Mediterranean have been at the heart of CMA CGM’s history. The Group has undertaken major initiatives to contribute to the economic dynamism of the region, strengthen its attractiveness and attract new talent. The acquisition of La Méridionale, a link between Marseilles, Corsica and the Mediterranean, is part of this ambition.