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Hapag-Lloyd in $1bn deal to buy SAAM’s logistics and terminals

Photo: SAAM SAAM-TPG terminal in Ecuador[
Chile-based SAAM has agreed to sell its port terminals and logistics operations to Hapag-Lloyd in a $1bn transaction.

The deal includes 100% of SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics as well as real estate assets related to the logistics business. 

The agreement will provide SAAM with significant resources to focus on the development and expansion of its towage and air cargo logistics businesses.  A net profit of $400m is estimated for SAAM. 

SAAM is to sell its ownership stake in ten port terminals throughout six countries in the Americas, bonded warehouses and integrated logistics operations for importers and exporters. The agreement also includes the sale of the real estate assets where SAAM Logistics currently operates subject to relevant approvals and conditions being met.

SAAM has joint ventures with international port operators in several terminals. It had a combined container throughput of around 3.5m teu in 2021.

“Investing in terminal infrastructure is a key element of our strategic agenda, and Latin America is one of our stronghold markets. Acquiring SM SAAM’s terminal operations and complementary logistics services will help us to further strengthen our business while building up a robust and attractive terminal portfolio,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd has been expanding its presence in the terminals sector most recently by announcing that it aims to acquire a minority stake in the Italy-based Spinelli Group, by acquiring a stake in JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven, and by investing in the construction of Terminal 2 in the Egyptian port of Damietta.

Hapag-Lloyd also has a stake in the Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg and in Terminal TC3 of the Moroccan port of Tangier.

Macario Valdés, CEO of SM SAAM, said, "This is good news for SAAM, its shareholders, and also for SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics, as well as for employees and the communities in which SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics operate, given the experience and financial strength of the new owner.”

This acquisition “will strengthen the company's capital structure and help us capitalise on a pipeline of organic and inorganic growth opportunities in the towage and air cargo logistics business divisions. Once the transaction is approved, SAAM will focus on the development of the above operations, which together account for approximately 55% of SAAM’s Ebitda,” he added.

“SAAM Towage is the third largest player globally thanks to the strategy we have deployed since 2019 with the acquisitions of the entire joint venture with Boskalis, the acquisition of Intertug, Standard Towing and Ian Taylor Peru, and the announcement of the purchase of Starnav's assets in Brazil. In addition, to strengthen our air cargo logistics strategy, we acquired 50% of Aerosan from American Airlines," Valdés concluded.