Kühne, who owns 25% of Hapag-Lloyd, reportedly told shareholders at Hapag-Lloyd's annual general meeting on 10 July that, “They did not want to be taken over by the French.”
Instead he said, “At best, we want to takeover over the French (company).”
Kühne is the second largest shareholder in Hapag-Lloyd after CSAV Germany Container Holding which owns 25.8% of the Hamburg-headquarted line.
The comments followed a report by Reuters on Monday that CMA CGM had approached Hapag-Lloyd about an all-stock merger of the two companies, which would create the world's largest container shipping line.
Read more: A CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd merger - really?
Kühne confirmed the approach by CMA CGM to German broadcaster NDR90.3 but said, “It does not bother me, there have been several attempts to get us talking.” He described the proposal as making “no sense”.