UPDATE 2-France sovereign fund mulls shipping firm investment

Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:09pm GMT

* FSI looking at CMA CGM co-investment -spokesman

* CMA CGM already has Yildirim deal -sources

* Yildirim working with Garanti on financing -sources

(Adds details on Yildirim deal, financing)

By Julien Ponthus and Sarah White

PARIS/LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - France's sovereign wealth fund is considering an investment in indebted French shipping company CMA CGM alongside Turkish conglomerate Yildirim, a spokesman for the fund said on Thursday.

Marseille-based container shipping line CMA CGM, which began talks with lenders a year ago on over $5 billion of debt after being hit by an industry wide slump, has already agreed a $500 million investment from Yildirim, according to three sources close to the deal.

That agreement was key to unlocking funding from the Fonds Strategique d'Investissement (FSI), which said earlier this year it would invest in CMA CGM if it found another industrial investor.

"We were officially asked a few days ago by the Saade family to look at a possible joint investment with investor Yildirim," the FSI spokesman said. "We are working on it, and we will come back to CMA CGM quickly, in the coming weeks."   Continued...

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