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NOL makes binding bid for Hapag-Lloyd

NOL makes binding bid for Hapag-Lloyd

Singapore: Neptune Orient Lines admitted Monday it too has submitted a binding bid to acquire Germany's Hapag-Lloyd but declined to provide details of its bid.

It said it made the offer to Hapag-Lloyd's owner TUI AG on Friday, the same day a group of Hamburg investors announced a binding offer for the German container shipping firm which is the world's fifth largest by capacity.

A report in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on Monday without citing sources the Hamburg group would bid more than 4 billion euros ($5.85 billion) for Hapag-Lloyd, including its debt.

A spokesperson for the Hamburg group was not immediately available for comment.

In the past, analysts have valued Hapag-Lloyd at 4-5 billion euros but turmoil in markets, the global economic slowdown and difficulties in raising finance could result in lower bids.

NOL, like the Hamburg group, did not provide details of its bid citing "strict confidentiality undertakings".

It is understood TUI will not let go of its box division for less than 4 billion euros.  [29/9/08]