Marseille based French container line CMA CGM has agreed to buy Singaporian NOL, Neptune Orient Line for $2.4bn. 

CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest shipping line, stated they agree to pay S$1.30 a share for NOL. Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment firm has already agreed to sell its 67% stake to the French shipping line.  NOL said. Temasek will receive about $1.6 billion for its stake.

CMA CGM’s vice chairman, Rodolphe Saadé stated “At a time when the shipping industry is facing strong headwinds, scale is more critical than ever to capitalise on synergies and capture growth opportunities wherever they arise,”

The deal is subject to clearance from competition authorities in the U.S., European Union and China. Including NOL’s debt the deal is valued at about $5 billion, people familiar with the deal said. It is the biggest shipping consolidation since 2005 when industry leader Maersk Line bought P&O Nedlloyd for around $3 billion.