Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has issued a cautious response to a number of reports in the press that it is looking for a buyer for its APL Logistics division. Those reports indicate NOL is aiming to reap $750m for the business and will launch an official sales process in the fourth quarter of this year.

APL Logistics showed a positive performance in 2013 and posted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization of $74.5m, around 18% of NOL’s total revenue. However, NOL has posted a net loss of $76m on $8.8 billion of total revenue despite that.

NOL issued a statement this week stating that any plans concerning APL Logistics were “preliminary and exploratory”.

“NOL wishes to state that it continually evaluates all available options to improve the strategic positioning and performance of its businesses,” said the company in a statement. “These include considerations of a potential sale or initial public offering (IPO) and listing of its logistics business as a separate, stand-alone unit from NOL.

“There is no assurance that any definitive transaction for the sale or an IPO of NOL’s logistics business will be concluded,” it added.

A third of APL Logistics business is dedicated to the automotive industry and it counts some of the world’s biggest carmakers and tier ones amongst its customers, including Ford, GM, Renault-Nissan, Toyota, American Axle and Lear. The company provides services from managing the inbound flow of parts and materials into assembly plants, to the distribution of finished vehicles. It also provides services for aftermarket parts movements.