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Hapag-Lloyd prospectus out, NOL still favourite: FT

Hamburg: The prospectus of the most keenly sought boxline acquisition since P&O Nedlloyd was snapped up five years ago is now doing the rounds. German transport and tourism group TUI is hawking its containerline Hapag-Lloyd as an instantaneous way for other shipping firms to close the gap with Maersk Line, the world's number one. Prospectuses are understood to have been dispatched to the top 15 boxlines this week, the Financial Times reports. The paper continues to maintain NOL of Singapore is the frontrunner, a buyout that would catapult it from seventh to third in the global box rankings, squeezing past France's CMA CGM. However, various parties from within the city of Hamburg are expected to club together to try and counter any bid.
TUI forecasts that the ongoing delivery of 14 new ships will raise Hapag-Lloyd's capacity from 5.5m teu in late 2008 to 6.7m teu in 2010, giving it a healthy 4.8 per cent share of global capacity.
"The company forecasts that this 21.8 per cent increase in capacity will be matched by the growth of revenue and outpaced by profit growth, or underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda)," the FT reported.
"The dollar-denominated prospectus restates Hapag-Lloyd's 2007 sales of just over EUR6bn as $8.1bn and forecasts they will rise 19.8 per cent to $9.7bn this year. This total is forecast to rise 20.6 per cent to $11.7bn by 2010," the FT stated.
Better still, underlying ebitda is forecast to increase 67.6 per cent from $470m in 2007 to $788m this year. Over the succeeding two years, Hapag-Lloyd's measure of operating profit will rise 59.1 per cent to $1.3bn, sources close to the deal told the newspaper, seemingly dismissing any prospect of a major container downturn. The chief executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel, is on a sales tour of Asia and Europe this week and next.  [19/6/08]


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