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MSC offers at least €5.7bn for Bolloré Africa Logistics

By Joël Té-Léssia Assoko
Posted on Monday, 20 December 2021 20:12

Vincent Bolloré, in February 2008. Vincent Fournier for JAMG.

The Swiss logistics giant MSC, already present in Togo and Côte d'Ivoire, could get its hands on one of the giants of the sector in Africa, making a near €6bn bid for Bolloré Africa Logistics.

After refusing to comment on market “rumours” announcing its intention to sell its transport and logistics subsidiary in Africa, Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL), the French group announced on 20 December that it had received an offer from the Swiss giant MSC for this subsidiary.

“The Bolloré Group announces that it has received an offer from the MSC Group, a major player in container transport and logistics, for the acquisition of 100% of Bolloré Africa Logistics, which 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.

French tycoon Vincent Bolloré’s group has granted “exclusivity to the MSC Group until 31 March 2022 so that the latter can, at the end of an additional audit phase and contractual negotiations, if necessary, give it a promise to purchase”.

Reorganisation

In addition to the usual regulatory authorisations, the transaction would only be concluded “after the completion of the information and consultation procedures with the competent employee representative bodies”, as well as “certain internal reorganisation operations within the Bolloré Group”.

In addition to its historical port activities, grouped under the label of Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL), the Bolloré group also has an important logistics network, which is almost without par for a large part of the continent.

The future of this activity is not known.

But as we noted in mid-October, “if the valuation of 5 to 6 billion euros, mentioned in mid-2020 by experts in the field, is still relevant, this would correspond more or less to the current price of a kilometre of quay and the sale of the fifteen or so container terminals that the group has in Africa.

In its December 20 press release, the Bolloré group affirmed its intention to maintain “in any case a significant presence in Africa, particularly through Canal+” and to continue “its developments in many sectors such as communication, entertainment, telecoms and publishing”. At the time of writing, MSC had not issued a statement regarding the Bolloré deal.

The Swiss giant is present in the ports of Lomé (Togo) and San Pedro (Ivory Coast), through its subsidiary Terminal Investment Group (TIL).

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