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Merger on! NOL and Hapag Lloyd parent company appoint advisors

Singapore: Neptune Orient Lines and Germany's TUI AG appear likely to pursue a merger in light of the fact that they have appointed J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, respectively, to advise them on a potential tie-up, reports the Asian Wall Street Journal. If successful, the tie up would produce one of the world's largest container-shipping enterprises and would be a dominant player in the container transportation market.

According to the newspaper, a source has identified a share swap that would make NOL part of Hapag Lloyd as an option for a tie-up, with NOL parent company Temasek Holdings taking a stake in Hapag Lloyd parent company TUI. Temasek currently owns 69% of Neptune.

According to the report, another possibility is a direct merger of Neptune and Hapag-Lloyd.  NOL has declined to directly comment on the possible merger.  [13/02/08]

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