Shipping and logistics giant CMA CGM Group is to acquire nearly 100% of the capital of automotive logistics specialist Gefco in a move which will see the logistics specialist integrated into the group’s subsidiary Ceva Logistics.

The European Commission has authorized CMA CGM to acquire the capital of Gefco immediately, pending the final approval that will take place in the coming months.

Gefco specialises in automotive logistics, with particular expertise in finished vehicle logistics. It has customers in the aerospace, pharmaceuticals, energy and retail sectors, operates a network spanning 47 countries and has around 11,500 staff around the world, including 2,500 in France.

CMA CGM Group said this week that the acquisition will strengthen the range of logistics services that Ceva Logistics, its logistics subsidiary, provides to its customers, especially in France and the rest of Europe.

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive of the CMA CGM Group, said: “The acquisition of Gefco represents a further step in our development strategy and strengthens our position as a global player in transport and logistics.

“With Gefco, our subsidiary Ceva will become the world leader in automotive logistics, having recently enhanced its capabilities in e-commerce logistics with the acquisition of Ingram Micro CLS. We are creating a French leader to serve our customers around the world.”

The CMA CGM Group said it wants to boost Gefco’s development, especially in international markets, by harnessing the group’s technology and logistics capabilities.

It added that Gefco will benefit in the future from Ceva Logistics’ expertise and network, enabling it to expand both its business and its customer portfolio.

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In a statement, CMA CGM Group said: “The acquisition of Gefco and its integration within Ceva Logistics will create the world’s leading automotive logistics provider and will reinforce Ceva’s leadership position in contract logistics.

“Thanks to the addition of Gefco, Ceva Logistics will continue expanding around the world and strengthening its position in key markets, especially France and the rest of Europe.”

The CMA CGM Group said the deal is part of wider plans to develop and provide end-to-end shipping and logistics solutions to support its customers’ supply chains.

This latest acquisition follows that of Ingram Micro’s Commerce and Lifecycle Services (CLS) and of Colis Privé, which have strengthened Ceva Logistics' presence in e-commerce and other key market segments, including technology, retail and fashion.

Luc Nadal, Gefco’s chief executive, said: “With more than 70 years of expertise in industrial logistics, Gefco is proud to join the CMA CGM Group, an undisputed world leader in maritime shipping and logistics.

“The project led by CMA CGM will allow Gefco to continue our activity in a stable environment, will support the transformation we have initiated and will strengthen our development in the years to come.

“This link between two French companies will bring many opportunities for Gefco in terms of innovation and sustainable growth, particularly internationally, for the benefit of our customers.

“I am proud of the work accomplished by all of the Gefco teams around the world on behalf of our customers, and I am confident in the future with CMA CGM and Ceva Logistics.”