BEIRUT — As expected, a Telecoms Ministry commission approved a tender by two subsidiaries of the French logistics giant CMA CGM to take over Lebanon's postal services from the previous contracting company LibanPost, according to committee meeting minutes seen Thursday by L'Orient-Le Jour.
According to the document, the bidders — Merit Invest and Colis Privé — plan to pay 12 percent of their revenue to the Lebanese state, two points higher than the set threshold.
Merit Invest is the Lebanese holding company of the Saadé family, which owns and manages CMA CGM. The carrier acquired 100 percent of Colis Privé's capital in 2022.
Merit Invest has also signed a memorandum of understanding with La Poste, a leading French postal services operator that has said it will provide "technical assistance" for the duration of the nine-year contract.
Should the procedure goes ahead as planned, the companies will take over from LibanPost, which has been managing these services since 1998, but whose last duly awarded contract was extended from the end of 2019.
No announcement yet
Caretaker Telecoms Minister Johnny Corm has not yet formally declared the victory of Merit Invest and Colis Privé.
The procedure and content of the bid must now be checked by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), which is expected to issue its opinion within the next 10 days.
Speaking to La Voix du Liban radio on Thursday morning, Corm simply stated that the tender had been "studied," taking into account the PPA's previous observations and the opinion of a "French expert."
Corm did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Merit Invest and Colis Privé were the only bidders after the 9 a.m. deadline on Wednesday for submitting bids for this procedure, which launched in early June.
This is the third tender launched since October 2022 to find a successor to LibanPost.
The Merit/Colis Privé duo won the second attempt, which Corm canceled after the PPA pointed to shortcomings in the way the procedure had been concluded.
Three other companies withdrew their bids: Ghana Post Company, Trust Trading and CCOM Holding.
None of the companies has yet reacted publicly to the announcement of the results.