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CMA CGM and Bpifrance Launch €200 Million Fund for French Maritime Sector

In an unprecedented move by a private entity to contribute to the decarbonization of the French maritime sector, CMA CGM, through its investment fund PULSE, and Bpifrance have joined forces to manage this exceptional contribution. This act of solidarity, announced at the International Agriculture Fair in Paris in 2023, is set to benefit fishing, industry, and research in an unprecedented manner.

The operational launch of the fund for the French maritime sector, with a budget of €200 million via CMA CGM’s PULSE Energies Fund, is a significant development as of April. This substantial fund will be divided into three distinct allocations:

  • €130 million in grants for the maritime sector
  • €20 million in grants for maritime research
  • €50 million earmarked for investments

This unparalleled commitment from a private entity demonstrates CMA CGM’s solidarity with all stakeholders in the maritime sector in France, including the overseas territories. The €200 million dedicated to the endowment fund is fully financed by PULSE, CMA CGM’s energy fund, established in September 2022 by Rodolphe Saadé with a budget of €1.5 billion over five years to support the decarbonization of the group and its supply chain.

This initiative, administered by representatives of CMA CGM, will distribute the €200 million across three distinct allocations, two of which will be entrusted to Bpifrance, comprising both grants and investments:

  • €130 million in grants, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the endowment fund, intended for the maritime sector to finance French companies seeking to accelerate their decarbonization efforts. This includes €20 million in grants for French fishing companies to finance the decarbonization of their vessels.
  • €50 million invested in a fund managed by Bpifrance Investissement to invest in equity and quasi-equity in French SMEs/ETIs in the maritime sector looking to accelerate their decarbonization.
  • €20 million in grants for maritime research, managed directly by the endowment fund to finance cutting-edge research institutes and centers in the maritime sector.

The governance structure, comprising seven members from the maritime sector and the financial sector, will oversee the strategic direction of the endowment fund. Bpifrance will manage the evaluation of grant or investment applications for the maritime sector. Additionally, CMA CGM’s R&D department will directly supervise certain research grants by forming dedicated partnerships with leading research institutes in the maritime sector.

This act of solidarity aims to actively support the decarbonization of an entire industry, including fishing, passenger transport, maritime freight, yachting, ports, and terminals. The allocation of €20 million to support the decarbonization of fishing vessels underscores the recognition of the significant efforts required by fishermen in their energy transition.

The establishment of this endowment fund represents a significant milestone in the deployment of PULSE, whose investment strategy focuses on innovation and energy projects. Over the past 18 months, PULSE has committed €460 million to various technological and energy projects. CMA CGM’s commitment to decarbonization underscores its leadership role in supporting the industry’s transition.

Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of CMA CGM, stated, “Decarbonization is a major challenge for the future of the French maritime sector. As a leader, it is our responsibility to support decarbonization efforts within our sector. That is why I wanted CMA CGM to allocate €200 million to an endowment fund to help, with the assistance of Bpifrance, identify and finance the most innovative and effective projects in this field.”

Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance, added, “Supporting French companies in their ecological and energy transition is a major strategic focus for Bpifrance. To this end, we have developed a comprehensive toolkit and a unique continuum of financing and support solutions within our climate plan to accelerate the decarbonization of the French industrial and economic fabric. The operational launch of this endowment fund, which will make investments in equity, quasi-equity, and debt alongside CMA CGM, and which aims to accelerate the implementation of energy transition projects for stakeholders in the maritime sector, is an important step in decarbonizing the maritime sector.”

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