Stellantis: The Stock Exchange welcomes the sale by Stellantis of its last shares in its former logistics subsidiary Gefco

(BFM Bourse) – After selling 75% of its former subsidiary to Russian Railways (RZD) in 2012, PSA (became Stellantis since the merger with Fiat Chrysler) sells the 25% it still owns in Gefco, which specializes in automotive logistics, to the French shipping heavyweight CMA CGM.

The company “Les Groupages Express de Franche-Comté” (or Gefco), founded by Peugeot SA in 1949 to have its own distribution branch at the end of the Second World War, completely left the bosom of the car manufacturer. The tricolor maritime transport giant CMA CGM announces this Friday the acquisition of almost 100% of the capital of the group with some 11,500 employees worldwide (3,000 in France) for a turnover of 4.2 billion euros in 2021.

This sale, the amount of which was not communicated by the French owner of the container ship, comes 10 years later PSA sold 75% of Gefco to Russian Railways (RZD) for 800 million euros. This majority shareholder, who had become cumbersome due to its CEO Oleg Belozerov’s ties to Vladimir Putin, was recently ousted by Gefco after the French group’s board of directors announced the purchase of 75% of RZD’s capital on April 1. The French government, which is closely following the transaction, stressed at the time that it was only a “first step”. The arrival of new owners was “essential to protect the group’s activity in the short term”, according to the cabinet of the Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

The European Commission has authorized CMA CGM to acquire Gefco’s capital immediately under a derogating procedure, without waiting for final approval within a few months.

“Create the global leader in automotive logistics”

“Gefco’s employees can finally breathe and have a future within the company,” the logistics group’s FO-UNCP union said in a press release, following the announcement of the acquisition. The CEO of CMA CGM Rodolphe Saadé, for his part, welcomed this acquisition, without referring to the former Russian shareholder and without mentioning the buyout value. The Marseille group plans to “eventually” integrate Gefco into CEVA, the Swiss logistics group it acquired in 2019, to “create the global leader in automotive logistics”.

emancipated from PSAGefco planned to join in 2018. In fact, the operation had gotten off to a fairly good start as the group submitted its registration document to the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) in December of that year before announcing the postponement of the launch in February 2019 due to market conditions deemed unfavorable. Due to this IPO PSA wanted (already) to reduce its stake to below 10% of the capital, while RZD said it was willing to reduce its stake to below 50%, while retaining control of the group.

On the stock market, this sale lowers the share Stellantis to recover by 3.6% this Friday at 11.50 am to EUR 14.03, after three strong consecutive declines, in an equally well-oriented market (+1.3% for the CAC at 11.40 am).

Quentin Soubranne – ©2022 BFM Bourse

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