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Hapag-Lloyd sale the hot topic as SMM closes

Hapag-Lloyd sale the hot topic as SMM closes

Hamburg: As the world's largest maritime trade fair, SMM in Hamburg, comes to a close today all eyes will return to the future of the city's container line, Hapag-Lloyd, the source of much conjecture. Parent TUI's efforts to offload its boxship division have been greeted with initial bids far below the expected 4-5bn euros, with neither NOL of Singapore nor a Hamburg consortium putting in bids of more than 3.3bn euros, according to sources close to the deal.
Now speculation among the congested byways at SMM is that TUI will abort the sale, potentially a huge embarrassment to senior management as the transaction fell victim to a downward container cycle. Final bids are due in by the end of the month. 'I just can't see them offloading it now, it will remain part of TUI,' said a source close to the transaction.
However, there is an outside chance that the Hamburg consortium might raise their bid, especially following the news this week that German regional state lender HSH Nordbank is joining the consortium.  [26/9/08]

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