French container shipping major CMA CGM has reached an agreement to purchase through its subsidiary, ANL, the majority of the shares in SOFRANA Unilines, a regional shipping line based in the South Pacific.

As informed, the acquisition of SOFRANA Unilines is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Founded in 1968, the SOciété FRAnçaise de NAvigation (SOFRANA) operates directly or in partnership a fleet of 10 vessels on eight trade-lanes, servicing 21 ports in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands.

The shipping line will provide “enhanced port coverage” to ANL and CMA CGM in this area, as disclosed by the company.

CMA CGM’s ANL already offers 16 trade lanes servicing major ports throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, North Asia, South East Asia, Indian Subcontinent and North America.

The newly combined group, SOFRANA ANL, will join CMA CGM’s portfolio of regional players – OPDR and MacAndrews in Europe, CNC in Asia.

In June, CMA CGM also signed a binding deal with Danish counterpart Maersk Line to acquire Mercosul Line that operates in Brazil’s domestic container shipping market. The move is part of the company’s strategy to develop intra-regional sea transportation links and complementary services such as logistics.

The deal between Maersk Line and CMA CGM was a way that the relevant regulatory authorities approve Maersk’s merger with Hamburg Süd. The approval was obtained on September 22.

As World Maritime earlier reported, the integration of Mercosul within CMA CGM is scheduled to start at the same time as the Hamburg Süd integration, in the fourth quarter of 2017.