CMA CGM Says It’s Ready for More M&A Deals

France’s CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container-shipping lines, remains interested in seeking acquisitions despite bringing to an end its interest in German peer Hapag-Lloyd, its chief executive said on Thursday.

“The shipping sector is consolidating further and if there are opportunities the CMA CGM group … is able to be in the running for a new deal,” Rodolphe Saade told Reuters on the sidelines of a ship launch ceremony at the northern French port of Le Havre.

Regarding Hapag-Lloyd, which financial sources said in July had been approached by CMA CGM, Saade confirmed his group had looked at the German firm but that the “matter was closed”.

The CEO said his firm was seeing healthy activity on transpacific routes, supported by a strong U.S. economy and signs of precautionary buying by U.S. firms wary of further tariffs in a trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

But a full-blown trade war between the United States and China would affect shipping volumes, he added.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Luke Baker)