November 26 - CMA CGM shareholders and the YILDIRIM Group of Turkey have reached an agreement which enables CMA CGM to strengthen its equity base and secure the financing of its investment plan.

Under the terms of the agreement, YILDIRIM Group will invest USD500 million in CMA CGM by acquiring five-year ORA equity notes giving access to 20 percent of CMA CGM's share capital. YILDIRIM Group will also be given three seats on the ten-member board of directors. The historic family shareholder will retain a majority interest with 800f outstanding shares and voting rights.

"This alliance with YILDIRIM Group will enable us to strengthen CMA CGM's balance sheet," said Jacques Saadé, chairman of CMA CGM's board of directors, adding that the arrival of a new investor will provide the Group with additional resources to support and step up its growth.

The agreement comes in a favourable environment for the Group, which reported revenue of USD10.5 billion for the first nine months of 2010, a year-on-year increase of 38 percent. Freight volumes for the same period increased by almost 18 percent year-on-year to 6.8 million teu, and the Group achieved an operating margin 18.5 percent.