With local sources suggesting that a 37.13% stake in K Line is backed by Maersk Line, speculation has been mounting with regards to Maersk Line taking over the Japanese shipping line, according to TradeWinds.
An unnamed K Line executive said: “This rumour is groundless. There was a Japanese article on this last month but the magazine did not verify the information with K Line. There is no reason why Maersk wants to take over our company.”
An unnamed Maersk spokesperson said: “Our aim is to grow organically. As always, if there is an interesting opportunity, we will look at it. We welcome consolidation. Our industry is very fragmented and consolidation can help transform our business to the benefit of the customers.”
PTI previously reported that channels had been opened for Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to join Maersk and MSC’s 2M alliance.
This idea was proposed in a bid to help HMM overcome financial difficulties and to help the carrier survive in a market riddled by low freight rates, overcapacity and weak demand.
Maersk is also due to reveal the results of its strategic review. In previous reports by PTI, Maersk had stated that it was looking into several options ahead of the review, and is considering a two-way split that will transform the business into a transport and energy company.
This news came on the back of news that it is still unclear as to whether its terminal operating unit APM Terminals and logistics unit Damco will be sold off.
As it stands, Maersk Line owns a 15.2% share of the global shipping fleet with a total operating capacity of more than 3.15 million TEU, with K Line holding a 1.7% share (more than 359,000 TEU of fleet capacity).