Maersk Line completes Hamburg Süd acquisition 


By Jite Eriabie 

Danish shipping giant Maersk says it has completed its acquisition of German rival Hamburg Süd in a deal valued at approximately $4 billion.

The close of the deal comes exactly one year after Maersk Line announced its intention to acquire the smaller shipping line from Oetker Group.

The acquisition triggered a regulatory approval process spanning 23 jurisdictions, which concluded Tuesday with the approval of the acquisition by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Together, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of 4.15 million TEU and a 19.3% global fleet capacity share, according to Alphaliner data. A total of 105 Hamburg Süd vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Maersk Line, growing Maersk’s fleet to a total of 772 vessels either owned or chartered.

Operational synergies are estimated in the region of $350 to $400 million annually from 2019, according to Maersk Line.

“With the final approval of the acquisition we have reached an important milestone in our strategy to become an integrated transport and logistics company delivering sustainable growth. These are truly exciting times and we are looking forward to taking the first steps forward as one company,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“Hamburg Süd is an outstanding brand with high quality products. By combining our two businesses we will reinforce the global positions of both companies and enhance our service offers towards customers,” Skou added.

Upon transfer of ownership, Dr. Ottmar Gast will retire as Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd to become new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hamburg Süd. Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk, will become Board Member of the Supervisory Board of Hamburg Süd. New CEO for Hamburg Süd will be Dr. Arnt Vespermann.

“Becoming part of the world’s number one shipping company will create a lot of opportunities. We will strengthen Hamburg Süd in the global playing field and grow our market share together. At the same time, Hamburg Süd will continue serving our customers as a separate brand,” says Arnt Vespermann.

In a statement, Maersk Line said by combining with Hamburg Süd, it will be able offer customers better market coverage, attractive direct services and other benefits via a combined global network. The cost synergies will primarily be derived from integrating and optimising the networks as well as standardised procurement, according to Maersk Line.

Maersk Line says the acquisition of Hamburg Süd is valued at EUR 3.7 billion, on a cash and debt-free basis. Maersk Line will finance the acquisition through a syndicated loan facility.   

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