By Jite Eriabie
South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has cleared Maersk Line’s proposed acquisition of German liner company Hamburg Süd on October 5.
“The clearance is conditional upon Hamburg Süd’s withdrawal from the SAAF vessel sharing agreement operating in the South Africa–East Coast South America trade. The withdrawal will become effective after closing of the proposed acquisition.
“Hamburg Süd will remain active on the trade after closing as part of the combined Maersk Line/Hamburg Süd network.
“The clearance decision is based on an in-depth investigation which has scrutinized the industry and addressed all competition law aspects of the acquisition,” says Morten Toft, Senior Legal Counsel in Maersk Line’s competition law team.
The approval comes just a week after Brazilian competition authority gave a go-ahead to the deal.
Regulatory bodies from China, Korea and Chile remain among key competition authorities yet to sign off the transaction.
The proposed acquisition has been approved by the relevant authorities in the US, Australia, the EU, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, Brazil and Ecuador.
Maersk Line said earlier that the process of obtaining regulatory approvals from all relevant jurisdictions remains on track.
The liner major expects to launch the integration of Hamburg Süd in the fourth quarter of 2017.
To remind, Danish container shipping company said it would acquire Hamburg Süd for USD 4 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 (3.3 million TEU) and an 18.7% (16%) global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 743 container vessels.
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