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Hamburg consortium snap up Hapag-Lloyd for $6.11bn

Hamburg consortium snap up Hapag-Lloyd for $6.11bn

Hamburg: It's over! One of the most read about, protracted and controversial container acquisitions in living memory has come to an end with a consortium of Hamburg tycoons, banks and local government taking control of TUI's container division, Hapag-Lloyd, for just EUR4.45bn ($6.11bn). The deal involves takingh on Hapag-lloyd's debt too. A special dividend has been promised.
The sale, in which the consortium also will assume roughly EUR2bn in debt, keeps the world's fifth-largest container shipping company by capacity in German hands. Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines, the only other bidder, pulled out of the running on Friday.  Sources close to the deal told Seatrade Asia Online that TUI was unwilling to part with Hapag-Lloyd for less than EUR4bn, having started out months ago wanting anywhere between EUR6-7bn.
"The deal highlights how the credit crunch has made financing difficult. To seal the pact, Hannover-based TUI agreed to pay the consortium EUR700 million and will retain a 33.33% stake. TUI had tried to sell all of Hapag-Lloyd after putting it on the auction block earlier this year," the Wall Street Journal reported.
TUI didn't name the members of Albert Ballin KG, the Hamburg-based buyer of Hapag-Lloyd. But banking group HSH Nordbank AG, insurer Signal Iduna Pensionskasse AG, the Hamburg city government and Klaus-Michael Kuehne, who owns a majority stake in Swiss logistics group Kuehne Nagel International AG, earlier confirmed belonging to the consortium. [13/10/08]

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