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Maersk Line to acquire Hamburg Süd

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Maersk Line and the Oetker Group have reached an agreement for Maersk Line to acquire the German container shipping line Hamburg Süd. The acquisition is subject to final agreement and regulatory approvals.

Maersk Line will have container capacity of around 3.8 million TEU (3.1 million TEU) and an 18.6% (15.7%) global capacity share after the acquisition is finalised. The combined fleet will consist of 741 container vessels with an average age of 8.7 years (9.2 years).

The acquisition comes after Maersk Line announced in September that it would grow market share organically and through acquisitions. Maersk Line is now planning to develop new products with more direct port calls and shorter transit times.

Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Line and the Maersk Group, commented on the agreement: “Hamburg Süd is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds, first of all in the North – South trades.”

Hamburg Süd and Aliança will continue as separate brands. The combined network of Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line’s will serve customers by providing access to the dedicated end-to-end services provided by Hamburg Süd in the North–South trades with the flexibility and reach provided through Maersk Line’s global network.

Recent deals have seen the merger of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC, as well as Nippon Yusen, Mitsui O.S.K Lines and K-Line.

Hamburg Süd:

  • World’s seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the North–South trades
  • Operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent)
  • Services based in Hamburg Süd, CCNI, Chile, and Aliança, Brazil, with 5,960 employees in more than 250 offices across the world
  • In 2015, Hamburg Süd had a turnover of USD 6,726 million, of which USD 6,261 million stems from its container line activities

Skou added: “The acquisition of Hamburg Süd is in line with our growth strategy and will increase the volumes of both Maersk Line and APM Terminals. Our combined network will provide exciting opportunities to develop new products and exploit operational synergies. Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line customers will benefit from more choice and better products.”

The agreement with Hamburg Süd will have no financial impact in 2016 and Maersk Line expects to communicate further details following the approval of the sales and purchase agreement expected early in the second quarter of 2017. Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line will continue business as usual until the transaction’s expected close at the end of 2017.

Dr. Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Hamburg Süd Group, said: “We are proud to join the global market leader Maersk Line. While gaining access to a superior network and systems we will continue the Hamburg Süd brand and business model offering personalised solutions to our shippers and consignees. By joining forces both Maersk and Hamburg Süd will strengthen their product portfolio and cost position to the benefit of their customers.”

The acquisition is subject to a satisfactory due diligence, with the final agreement subject to regulatory approval in China, Korea, Australia, Brazil, the United States and the EU.

Dr. August Oetker, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Dr. August Oetker KG, the management holding company of the Oetker Group, said: “Giving up our engagement in shipping after an 80 year-long ownership in Hamburg Süd was not an easy decision for my family.

“We are very confident, though, to have chosen the best of all possible partners.” 

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