Ceva truckThe European Commission (EC) has approved a plan for French shipping company CMA CGM to acquire logistics provider Ceva of Switzerland.

Under an agreement between the two companies, Ceva will take over the freight management business of CMA CGM, its major shareholder, for $105m (€92.9m), with closure expected in the second quarter; while CMA CGM will make a friendly public tender offer for Ceva Logistics’ shares.

After investigating the proposal, the EC concluded the merger would not raise competition concerns, given its limited impact on the freight forwarding, container and short-sea shipping markets.

Within CMA CGM’s operations, freight forwarding plays second fiddle to container shipping and port terminal services, while Ceva focuses on freight forwarding and contract logistics, including warehousing services, transport, inbound logistics and manufacturing support. Automotive is one of the sectors it serves.

CMA CGM said Ceva would remain an independent and standalone listed company after the transaction, adding that the move would result in a new strategic partnership between the two and acceleration of Ceva’s ongoing transformation.

There would be a stronger focus in the partnership on commercial performance and profitability, said CMA CGM, with cross-selling, a more simplified organisation, a strengthened management team, upgrading and standardisation of processes and IT architecture, and the acquisition by Ceva of CMA CGM’s freight management activities (CCLog).

The companies would have an arm’s-length business relationship, allowing them to serve clients on competitive terms, it added.