The CMA CGM group set to buy La Méridionale – Le Journal des Entreprises

The Stef group (2022 turnover: 4.3 billion euros), specialist in temperature-controlled transport and logistics, current owner of the Marseille shipping company La Méridionale (2021 turnover: 53 million euros, 600 employees), created in 1931, is in advanced discussion for a sale of the company to the Marseilles group CMA CGM, the third largest shipowner in the world. Discussions which would be at the preliminary stage and which must be the subject of a priority consultation of the economic and social council of La Méridionale. An exceptional CSE is thus convened on Monday, February 13 at the company’s premises.

Connections to Corsica and Morocco

The blue and white boats of La Méridionale, Marseille’s oldest shipowner still in business, provide services to Corsica in particular and carry freight and passengers. At the end of 2022, the company obtained, with Corsica Linea, the renewal of its public service delegation (DSP) on these routes, until 2029. This DSP concerns half of the rotations between Ajaccio and Marseille, seven days a week and all rotations between Porto-Vecchio and Marseille, three days a week.
The shipping company also provides six weekly crossings to Tangier in Morocco, a route launched in December 2020, which ultimately turns out to be a major source of losses for the company. In 2021, most of the company’s losses came from this line. La Méridionale, which has four mixed vessels bound for Corsica and Morocco, transported 209,062 passengers and 45,926 heavy goods vehicles in 2022.
With this takeover, the CMA CGM group would reconnect with passenger transport, from which it has withdrawn since the sale in 2015 of its subsidiary Ponant, specializing in luxury cruises, and would strengthen its roots in the Marseille region. Present in 160 countries, it employs 150,000 people and is at the head of 584 ships.

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