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Maersk Line closes Hamburg Süd acquisition

After completing regulatory approvals in 23 jurisdictions, Maersk Line has closed its €3.7 billion acquisition of Hamburg Süd from the Oetker Group, giving it almost a 20% share of total global container fleet capacity..


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The regulatory process was completed this week with the approval of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, after Maersk agreed to its conditions to remove Hamburg Süd from certain vessel sharing agreements in Asia.


"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," said 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.”


Maersk Line is emphasising that the acquisition, which it is completing on a cash and debt-free basis, is inline with its growth strategy. “It represents a unique opportunity to realise commercial opportunities as well as sizeable operational synergies. Combined, the two companies will be able to realise operational synergies in the region of US$350-400 million annually as from 2019,” Maersk stated.


Together, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of 4.15M TEU and a 19.3% global fleet capacity share (a figure Maersk Line reported, citing Alphaliner data from 27 November 2017). 105 Hamburg Süd vessels will be “integrated into the fleet of Maersk Line”, and the combined fleet will reach 772 vessels (owned and chartered).


With regard to cost synergies the deal will create, Maersk Line said these “will primarily be derived from integrating and optimising the networks as well as standardised procurement”. In previous announcements AP Moller Maersk CEO Søren Skou has said the group wants to use the assets and resources across its transport divisions “more intensively”. Adding Hamburg Süd is expected, therefore, to be a significant boost to APM Terminals and Maersk Container Industry.


Maersk Line also announced management changes at Hamburg Süd: Dr. Ottmar Gast will retire as Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd to become the 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. The 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," said Vespermann.


The vessels Monte Olivia (left) and Olivia Mærsk (right) in the Port of Cartagena, Colombia.


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