Neptune Orient Lines Limited has responded to recent media reports that the Singapore shipping company has been put up for sale by its majority shareholder Temasek Holdings, investment arm of the Singapore Government.
Last week, it was reported that Temasek Holdings had hired a bank to seek buyers for the business after reporting a net loss in five of the past six years.
In response to the reports, NOL issued a statement saying that the company remains focused on returning its core liner business to sustainable growth and profitability, and that it has not made any decision yet on the sale of the company, but that it is obligated to consider all options to maximize shareholder value.
NOL noted that it has invested in 32 new and modern ships and it continues to streamline its costs following the recent sale of its logistics business, APL Logistics, for $1.2 billion earlier this year.
“The Company has a duty to consider its options to maximize shareholder value as part of its conduct of normal business,” the NOL statement said. “The Company has not made any decision with respect to, and has not entered into any agreement for, a potential sale of the Company and there is no assurance that any agreement for the sale of the Company will be entered into.”
NOL says it will release a further announcement if and when there are any material developments.
Temasek Holdings is the largest single shareholder of NOL with a 68% holding.
Reports say that a potential sale of the the company could fetch an estimated $1.7 billion.