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Hapag-Lloyd confirms merger talks with UASC

Hapag-Lloyd confirms merger talks with UASC
As consolidation gathers pace in container shipping Hapag-Lloyd has confirmed it is merger talks with United Arab Shipping Co (UASC).

In a statement following a German press report, Hapag-Lloyd said it was currently discussing forms of cooperation with UASC including a merger of their container shipping operations.

“In case of a business combination, the parties are basing their discussions on a relative valuation of the two businesses at 72% (Hapag-Lloyd) and 28% (UASC), subject to a mutually satisfactory completion of the negotiations and the mutual due diligence exercise,” Hapag-Lloyd said.

It said that to date discussions had not resulted in a binding agreement.

The proposed structure is similar to the merger of CSAV’s container line operations with Hapag-Lloyd last year which saw the Chilean line take a 30% stake in the German liner company.

The merger would give Hapag-Lloyd and UASC combined a 7.2% share of the container shipping market by capacity, making it the 5th largest container according figures from Alphaliner. Currently Hapag-Lloyd is the 6th largest and UASC the 10th.

It is the latest consolidation moves in the struggling container shipping following the merger of Cosco and China Shipping’s container businesses and CMA CGM’s planned buy of Neptune Orient Lines.

Yesterday CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) announced they planned to come together as the Ocean Alliance causing a major shake-up to existing structures and effectively UASC out in the cold with no alliance partners.