MSC Edges Closer to Takeover of Norway's Gram Car Carriers

An MSC container ship, the MSC Lisa
Updated Published

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is nearing the acquisition of Norway’s Gram Car Carriers (GCC), with major shareholders agreeing to the deal.

The Swiss-based liner giant launched a voluntary cash offer of NOK 263.69 per share through its subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services earlier this week. This deal values Gram at approximately $700 million.

Shareholders F. Laeisz, AL Maritime, Glenrinnes Farms, HM Gram Investment, and HM Gram Enterprises, who collectively hold nearly 55% of the shares, have accepted the offer. The remaining shareholders have until June 26 to decide whether to sell at a 24.1% premium to GCC’s stock price as of April 23, when the initial takeover proposal was announced.

MSC aims to acquire 90% or more of Gram’s shares to conduct a compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares, thereby avoiding a mandatory offer.

Including the Q1 dividend paid in May, investors would receive NOK 272.69 per share. If the deal is not finalized by the June deadline, SAS indicated it might extend the offer until August 5.

Nordic investment bank ABG Sundal Collier, in its independent review, stated that the price was “fair from a financial point of view.” The bank advised shareholders to “carefully study” the offer, consider the tax implications, and seek guidance on other effects of tendering their shares.

Gram Car Carriers is the world’s third-largest car carrier tonnage provider, owning 17 vessels in one of the most active shipping sectors in recent years. This sector has also attracted other global liners such as CMA CGM and HMM.