The deal follows a week of speculation about the future of Hamburg headquartered-line owned 100% by the Oekter Group.
“Today is a new milestone in Maersk Line’s history. I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the Oetker Group to acquire Hamburg Süd,” said Søren Skou, ceo of Maersk Line and the Maersk Group.
“Hamburg Süd is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds, first of all in the North - South trades.”
August Oetker, chairman of the Advisory Board of Dr. August Oetker KG, the management holding company of the Oetker Group commented: “Giving up our engagement in shipping after an 80 year-long ownership in Hamburg Süd was not an easy decision for my family. We are very confident, though, to have chosen the best of all possible partners.”
Dr. August KG said while global container shipping had been generating losses for years Hamburg Süd had performed well compared to its competitors.
However, it added: “The owners and management of Hamburg Süd must, however, recognize that active participation in the consolidation process of the sector currently taking place would entail an even higher capital requirement. This would, in addition, make the balancing of risk within the Oetker Group business portfolio more cumbersome.” The Oetker Group is perhaps best known globally for its frozen pizza brand.
Maersk said that Hamburg Süd and Aliança wiould continue as separate brands and continue to serve customers through their local offices.
“Hamburg Süd and Aliança have competitive and attractive customer value propositions, which we want to preserve and protect. We wish to maintain the personal touch and engagement they offer their customers. In short, Hamburg Süd and Aliança customers will also be Hamburg Süd and Aliança customers in the future,” said Skou.
The German line has 130 vessels with a total capacity of 625,000 teu. Based on figures from Alphaliner Maersk would have an 18.6% share of the global container shipping market following the deal.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to final agreement, due diligence and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be closed late 2017 at the earliest.