July 16 (Reuters) – Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings has put shipping company Neptune Orient Lines Ltd , which has a market value of $1.7 billion, up for sale, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Temasek has hired a bank to seek buyers for the business which made a net loss in five of the past six years, the sources said, as the fund with $197 billion under management seeks to boost its performance by shedding underperforming companies.
The sale of the business was widely expected, especially after Neptune, nearly 67 percent-owned by Temasek, sold its logistics business to Japanese freight carrier Kintetsu World Express Inc for $1.2 billion.
Last week, Temasek said the value of its portfolio had jumped by almost a fifth, helped by surging China bank stocks. .
A Neptune Orient spokeswoman declined to comment.
Temasek Holdings was not immediately available for comment outside office hours.
The sources declined to be identified as the sale process is confidential.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the planned sale. (Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru and Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Denny Thomas in Hong Kong; editing by David Clarke)
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