Maersk Line interested in Hamburg Süd

Santa Rita, Santa Teresa ships in Santos. Source: Hamburg Süd

Last week the information leaked that members of the Oetker family, owners of Hamburg Süd, were discussing a potential sale of the shipping line. Now the Wall Street Journal writes that Maersk Line is looking to buy the German peer, citing “people with knowledge of the matter”.

The momentous meeting of the family is reportedly to take place tomorrow, November 30.

It would be Maersk’s first acquisition of an entire company since 2005 when it bought P&O Nedlloyd. The deal would help Maersk Line to boost its presence in global trade with Latin America, as Hamburg Süd is primarily focused on North-South trades. It also would go in line with previous Maersk Group’s statements that the company is looking for acquisitions to increase its market share rather than newbuildings. At the same time the Group’s report on Q3 2016 results indicated Maersk Line’s loss of USD 116 mln (against a profit of USD 264 mln in Q3 2015), with a positive 11% increase in volumes to 2,698k FFE (2,427k FFE in Q3 2015).

Hamburg Süd is the world’s seventh-largest shipping line, with 115 container ships of total capacity of 598,000 TEU as of September, 2016. It accounts for 3% of global container capacity, according to Alphaliner. At the end of 2015 the company had nearly 6,000 employees. Its revenue in 2015 was reported USD 6.7 bln. The carrier previously explored a merger with another German shipping line – Hapag-Lloyd, but talks collapsed in 2013 over pricing and who would run the merged entity.

Hamburg Süd traces its roots back more than 100 years, it is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages.

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