05 Januari 2014

[050114.EN.SEA] Hapag-Lloyd Chairman Asks Hamburg-Sud to Join CSAV Merger Talks

HAMBURG-SUD has been invited to join Hapag-Lloyd's talks with CSAV to discuss the possibility of merger, after talks stalled with major Hapag shareholder Klaus Michael Kuehne baulking at ceding too much by the would-be Chilean partner.

"The three of us together would be stronger," said Hapag-Lloyd chairman Juergen Weber, reported Hamburger Abendblatt daily newspaper.

Mr Weber told the newspaper that he hoped Hapag-Lloyd's talks with CSAV would be a "warning and motivation" for Hamburg Sud's owner, the Oetker family, to rekindle talks.

Burdened by a EUR2.35 billion (US$3.2 billion) in debts and a nine-month net loss of EUR56 million, Hapag has already held talks with Hamburg-Sud last year, but the again parties were unable to agree.

The City of Hamburg holds 36.9 per cent of Hapag-Lloyd, while Klaus Michael Kuehne owns 28.2 per cent and German travel group TUI owns a 22 per cent, noted Reuters.

If the Hamburg-Sud joined with Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores), the deal would create the fourth biggest shipping line behind Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM.

Container carriers have suffered the worst slump on record, with the weak global economy, a tonnage oversupply and low freight rates, which combine to encourage consolidation.

Source : HKSG.

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