MSC is getting closer to the French Clasquin

After Italo and AlisCargo, MSC has set its sights on the French shipping company Clasquin.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is interested in acquiring a controlling stake in the French shipping company Clasquin. The transaction, managed by the Luxembourg subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services, involves the purchase of 42 percent of Clasquin at approximately 325 million euros. The operation should take place within the first quarter of 2024. Clasquin president Yves Revol and the French private equity company Olymp will sell the shares. Together, Revol and Olymp hold nearly 42 percent of Clasquin; another 13 percent is in the hands of employee representation and the remaining 45 percent is on the market.

Clasquin is based in Lyon and operates as an international freight forwarder by sea, air, and rail also provides logistics and customs services. It has twenty-two offices in the Asia-Pacific region, and has increased its presence in the Middle East and Africa; is present in Italy, in Segrate. In the first months of 2023 Clasquin carried out 163,000 shipments (5.7 percent more than the previous year), for a turnover of 284.3 million euros (-38.6 percent: the drop is due to prices very high freight rates in the first half of 2022) and gross incomes of 67.4 million (-6.1 percent).
As demonstrated by the agreement for the acquisition of 49.2 percent of Italo and the purchase of the Italian air operator AlisCargo, MSC wants to become an integrated logistics group, active not only in maritime transport but also in land and air transport. The other activities acquired by the company fit into this framework of MSC’s global strategy: acquisition of the activities in Africa of the French Bolloré group. The President of France Emmanuel Macron appears to have played a facilitating role in this affair due to his lack of confidence in Bolloré; MSC, on the contrary, was considered closer to Paris’ interests on the African continent.

MSC was founded in 1970 in Naples; today it is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founder and owner – with 50 percent is Gianluigi Aponte, while the other half belongs to his wife Rafaela Diamant. The company mainly deals with freight transport, managing a fleet of approximately seven hundred container ships and calling at five hundred ports around the world. Not being listed on the stock exchange, it tends not to disclose its financial numbers and in the last five quarters the company has distributed profits of 3.4-3.5 billion, i.e. “around 15 billion in net profits per year, an astonishing result due in largely to the freight prices of container ships which increased six times following the post-pandemic congestion”.
Among the subsidiaries of Mediterranean Shipping Company there are MSC Crociere, SNAV, the shipowner specialized in connections between the main Italian islands, Croatia; and Grandi Navi Veloci, which deals with maritime connections in Sicily, Sardinia and several European and North African countries.

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