By Jite Eriabie
The Korean Free Trade Commission (KFTC) has given Maersk Line the green light for the acquisition of German counterpart Hamburg Süd. However, following the review, the regulatory authority has imposed corrective measures which will have to be met in order for the deal to be closed.
These include an order for the withdrawal of Hamburg Süd’s ships from the vessel-sharing agreement currently in place on the Far East-central America/Carribean Trade Route.
Maersk Line said that it had agreed to the corrective measures as part of the ongoing dialogue with KFTC.
“Maersk Line commits to withdraw Hamburg Süd from a vessel sharing agreement currently active on the Far East Asia – Central America/Caribbean trade route. On the Far East Asia – West Coast of South America trade route, Maersk Line commits to not extend Hamburg Süd’s membership of a currently active vessel sharing agreement. Hamburg Süd will remain active on the abovementioned trade routes in the future. The committed changes will become effective after closing of the acquisition,” Maersk Line said in a statement.
Danish container carrier added that the regulatory approval process remains on track and that it expects to close the transaction on November 30, 2017.
The approval from Korea follows that issued by China earlier this month, and the deal remains to be officially cleared in one more jurisdiction.
Similar concessions were agreed with the Chinese regulatory body, including Maersk Line’s commitment not to extend Hamburg Süd’s membership of a vessel sharing agreement currently active on the Far East Asia – West Coast of South America trade route, and a commitment to terminate Hamburg Süd’s membership of a VSA on the Far East Asia – East Coast of South America trade route on the earliest date permitted.
Maersk Line further agreed within five years of closing, not to enter into vessel sharing agreements with its main competitors.
Danish container giant said it would acquire Hamburg Süd for USD 4.3 billion on a cash and debt-free basis, which it plans to fully finance through an already secured syndicated loan facility.
Once the acquisition is completed, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of around 3.9 million TEU and an 18.7% global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 743 container vessels.
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