The Bolloré group announced on 31 March 2022 in a press release that it had reached an agreement with the Swiss group MSC to sell its transport and logistics activities in Africa for 5.7 billion euros.
It is now official. It took some three short months. Henceforth MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) becomes the owner of Vincent Bolloré’s African logistics empire. Indeed, since December 2021, Bolloré group has announced that it is putting its African transport and logistics business up for sale. This branch, (Bolloré Africa Logistics), has infrastructures in more than twenty countries throughout the continent. There is a network of sixteen port concessions, warehouses and road and rail hubs.
At the end of December, the Italian-Swiss amateur had expressed its interest in the naval arsenal by proposing a sum of 5.7 billion euros. But the industry was also attracting interest from other shipping players, such as Maersk of Denmark and CMA CGM of France. On 31 March,Bolloré group announced in a press release that it had signed an agreement with the Swiss group MSC for the sale of its transport and logistics activities in Africa for 5.7 billion euros. Bolloré Africa Logistics will soon become part of the Italian-Swiss group by the end of the first quarter of 2023, subject to obtaining the necessary authorisations.
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Vincent Bolloré is giving up his African logistics arsenal because, admittedly, in 2021, this very successful African logistics branch saw its revenues increase by almost 10%, to two billion euros, with over 20,000 employees. However, the costly maintenance of all the networks, the increasingly expensive investments, not to mention the increasingly unfair competition with Chinese operators are all reasons that motivated the sale of the company. The other thorn in the side of the business was the corruption scandals in Togo and Guinea. To this end, Bolloré paid a fine of twelve million euros to the French justice system.
Moreover, selling the African logistics branch of the Bolloré group does not mean the end of its activities on the continent. Vincent Bolloré’s company said: “The Bolloré Group will maintain a significant presence in Africa, notably through Canal+, and will also pursue its development on the continent in numerous sectors such as communications, entertainment, telecoms and publishing.
Based in Geneva, MSC is owned by the Italian Aponte family. With more than 100,000 employees, the company claims about 560 merchant ships, with port terminals in Singapore, Rotterdam or Long Beach, California.