MSC subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services has reached the “minimum acceptance” threshold with shareholders of its acquisition target Gram Car Carriers (GCC), clearing the way for the company to finalise the deal. 

The company’s $700m cash offer has now been approved by shareholders holding 93.56% of GCC’s shares, surpassing the 90% minimum set out in SAS’ initial offer, allowing the company to carry out a compulsory purchase of the remaining 10% under Norwegian law. 

The news came the day of the deadline (26 June) first given by SAS for the closure of the deal, but GCC confirmed this had been pushed back to 1 July as the companies seek regulatory approvals. 

While the deal has already been approved by relevant authorities in Ukraine and Portugal, SAS is still waiting on confirmation from the Japan Fair Trade Commission, though the company is reportedly confident of securing Japan’s approval. 

The acquisition offer surpassed the 90% approval threshold just under a month after the deal was approved by GCC’s four largest shareholders, who hold 56.2% of the company. 

Norway-based GCC is the third largest tonnage provider in the Pure Car Truck Carriers sector and controls 17 vessels in its fully-owned fleet across the Distribution, Mid-size and Panamax segments. 

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SAS’ acquisition of the company, if approved, would mark one of the MSC Group’s largest investments into a business outside the container shipping and cruise sectors where the group currently acts as one of their biggest players.