zoom French container shipping company CMA CGM S.A. has taken the controlling stake of approximately 78.07 percent of all Neptune Orient Lines’ (NOL) shares from the company’s majority shareholders, led by Singapore’s investment fund Temasek.The company satisfied on 9 June the acceptance condition in its all-cash voluntary conditional general offer for NOL, after the company’s shareholders tendered all of their shares in acceptance of the deal.“We are supportive of this transaction as it presents NOL with an opportunity to join a leading player with an extensive global presence and solid operational track record. The combination of NOL and CMA CGM will create a leading shipping company that delivers reliable and efficient service to its customers,” said Temasek’s Joint Head, Portfolio Management Group, Tan Chong Lee.“Their complementary strengths will yield mutually beneficial results. We also note and welcome the commitment of CMA CGM to enhance Singapore’s position as a key maritime hub and grow Singapore’s container throughput volumes,” Tan said.CMA CGM does not intend to preserve the listing status of NOL.Further to the agreement, NOL’s Board of Directors has been changed, now comprising ten members, including Rodolphe Saadé (Chairman), Nicolas Sartini, Lars Kastrup, Serge Corbel, Ziad Tabet, Mathilde Lemoine, Ng Yat Chung, Kwa Chong Seng, Quek See Tiat and Tan Puay Chiang.The offer price is SGD 1.30 per NOL share in cash, totaling in SGD 3.4 billion (USD 2.43 billion).The offer provided NOL shareholders with an opportunity to realise their investment in NOL at a 49% premium to NOL’s unaffected share price on 16th July 20153 and a 33% premium to NOL’s 3-month volume-weighted average share price prior to 16th July 2015.Acceptance of the offer must be received no later than 5:30 p.m. (Singapore time) on 18 July 2016 or such later date(s) as may be announced by or on behalf of CMA CGM, a joint statement reads.
“These figures indicate an alarming trend of an increasing number of highly vulnerable children risking their lives to get to Europe,” said Lucio Melandri, the Senior Emergency Manager at UNICEF. “Current systems in place are failing to protect [them as they] find themselves alone in a [completely] unfamiliar environment,” he added, calling for a coordinated European response, given that the children are on the move. “Apart from addressing the factors that are forcing children to travel alone, a comprehensive protection, monitoring system needs to be developed to protect them,” he stressed. In 2016, some 25,800 unaccompanied or separated children arrived in the European country – compared to the 12,360 who arrived in 2015. These children, arriving by themselves, also accounted for a staggering 91 per cent of all the 28,200 children who reached Italy’s shores last year as refugees or migrants. A majority among of such arrivals were from Eritrea, Egypt, Gambia and Nigeria. Adding to the complex challenges, the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy also has an incredibly high ratio of unaccompanied and separated children among the refugees and migrants. Compared to other routes, only 17 per cent of the child refugees and migrants who arrived to Greece by sea in 2016, came without adult family members or guardians. “The presence of so many unaccompanied or separated children along the central Mediterranean route is unprecedented,” said Mr. Melandri. “It is obviously clear that we have a serious and growing problem on our hands.” Girls most at riskAccording to UNICEF, though most of the children were boys aged 15-17 years, younger children and girls were also among the arrivals. Girls are at a particular risk of sexual exploitation and abuse, including commercial sexual exploitation by criminal gangs. It further stated that several of the girls who were interviewed by its staff earlier this year in Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, reported that they were forced into prostitution in Libya as a means to ‘pay off’ the cost of the boat travel across the Mediterranean. Most of the boys spoke of being forced into manual labour. In addition to protecting child refugees and migrants – particularly unaccompanied children – from exploitation and violence, UNICEF urged stopping the detention of refugee or migrant children; keeping families together; providing quality, learning, healthcare and other related services to all refugee and migrant children; addressing underlying causes of large-scale movements; and combatting xenophobia, discrimination and marginalization.