Container shipping deal stacks up in multiple ways

December 8, 2015

French giant CMA CGM is buying Singapore’s ailing Neptune Orient Lines for $2.4 billion plus debt. Offering majority owner Temasek and public shareholders close to book value – a 49 percent premium – looks generous. But the unlisted buyer can chart a course to value creation.

FedEx bets $5 bln on Europe’s potential with TNT

April 7, 2015

The U.S. shipper’s cash bid for its Dutch rival comes two years after Brussels killed a takeover by rival UPS. The price is 20 times the weakened target’s 2016 earnings. That sounds high. But a strong dollar, cheap debt and sizeable synergies could help deliver decent returns.

UPS could be bidding against itself for TNT

February 22, 2012

The huge available synergies mean the $73 bln U.S. parcel giant could sweeten its takeover offer for its Dutch rival. TNT shareholders are for now expecting at least 9 pct more. But with rivals FedEx and DHL inhibited in varying ways, they may not get the bidding war they’d like.

Titanic’s century-old metaphor misses the point

April 12, 2012

The famous 1912 sinking tells us something eternal. Life, even the most privileged, is like an ocean voyage, and then the ship goes down and you die. It also seems like a warning against modern hubris. But an iceberg couldn’t stop the spread of ever more advanced technologies.

Hong Kong dockers’ pay sets tone for future strife

May 7, 2013

Port workers have ended a month-long strike and accepted a 9.8 pct pay rise - half their original demand. Yet the conflict highlighted Hong Kong’s growing inequality and rising living costs. As China’s economy slows and shifts, dockers and employers will be increasingly at odds.

China’s shipbuilding supertanker will turn slowly

July 5, 2013

Rongsheng, the biggest private shipbuilder, is on financial life support. An industry that once symbolised growing economic strength is now a drag. But don’t bet on a shakeout. In China, strategic sectors can stay afloat long after their apparent financial logic has run dry.