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Regulators Clear Way for Another Shipping Merger

By MarEx 2014-12-02 10:44:00

Germany's Hapag-Lloyd said on Tuesday it had received the last outstanding regulatory approvals for its planned merger with Chilean shipper Compania SudAmericana de Vapores, clearing the way for the two companies to be formally combined.

The merger, which will create the world's fourth largest container liner shipping company, is important for the shipping industry which hopes that consolidation will ease the pressure on freight rates, helping it to overcome the worst slump on record.

The merger of Hapag-Lloyd AG with the container business activities of the Chilean shipping company founded in Valparaíso, in 1872, is expected to result in many synergies. Annual savings of at least USD 300 million are anticipated simply as a result of network optimizations, improvements to productivity and reductions in costs. The merged company will have around 200 vessels with a total capacity of approximately one million TEU, transporting some 7.5 million TEU every year and will set up its fourth regional headquarter in Valparaiso, Chile. With revenue of around USD 12 billion, the combined entity joins the elite group of international shipping companies.

Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd: “This is a big day for both companies. With Hapag-Lloyd’s strength in Asian traffic and on the North Atlantic, combined with CSAV’s strong position in Latin America, we will become the leading shipping company in this region – and thereby be able to offer our global customers an even more attractive network and wider range of products. Our ability to compete will also be significantly enhanced by closing the gap to the top three of our industry”. He continues, “Our immediate priorities now are to continue to offer excellent service to all of our customers and to honor all the commitments both companies made, whilst we plan the upcoming integration. There will be no major changes to the way we work until the transition to the Hapag-Lloyd systems towards the end of the first quarter 2015”.

Oscar Hasbún, CEO of CSAV, adds: “We are very proud of the fact that our two long-established companies will now become one of the most prominent players in the global container shipping industry and that this Company has a firm foothold in Latin America, including our home market of Chile. We fit together perfectly thanks to our complementary network, our customer structure, and our excellent professionalism and reputation”. 

In addition to integrating CSAV’s container business into Hapag-Lloyd, there are also plans to strengthen the Company by raising capital of EUR 370 million by 31 December 2014, in which CSAV will take a share of EUR 259 million and Kühne Maritime EUR 111 million. The ownership structure of Hapag-Lloyd AG will therefore change as follows: CSAV will become Hapag-Lloyd’s biggest shareholder with 34% after the cash capital increase. The other shareholders are HGV (23.2%), Kühne Maritime (20.8%), TUI (13.9%), Signal Iduna (3.3%), HSH Nordbank (1.8%), M.M. Warburg (1.8%) and Hanse Merkur (1.1%).

CSAV, HGV and Kühne Maritime have agreed to pool 51% of the shares in Hapag-Lloyd in order to discuss and make key decisions together in the future. Of this pool structure, CSAV owns a 50% participation, while HGV and Kühne Maritime will own 25% each.

The main processes of integrating CSAV’s container business into Hapag-Lloyd are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2015.