MAERSK LINE SET TO BUY HAMBURG SUD IN A FIRST ACQUISITION OF MORE THAN A DECADE
The shipping arm of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is looking to buy German peer Hamburg Süd, people with knowledge of the matter said, a deal that would help Maersk Line boost its presence in global trade with Latin America.
Maersk Line, the world’s leading container-shipping operator, is interested in acquiring the entire Hamburg Süd business, which had $6.7 billion in revenue in 2015, the German-owned line focused on South American routes. It will be Maersk Line first acquisition of an entire shipping company in more than a decade.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the Oetker family, which has owned Hamburg Süd since 1955, were thinking of selling. On Monday the Journal identified Maersk as a potential buyer. Other potential names included CMA CGM and China COSCO. The purchase would give Maersk a boost in the South American market, and it would give Hamburg Süd's operations access to Maersk’s global scale.
Maersk Line is the largest carrier, and it is one-half of the massive 2M alliance. Hamburg Süd is not presently a member of an alliance, and its capacity accounts for about three percent of the world's total. Maersk has indicated that it will seek to grow through acquisitions rather than newbuildings, given the ample supply of existing tonnage in an oversupplied, depressed market. It has already acquired charters on six 13,000 TEU vessels previously used by Hanjin Shipping, which is presently in bankruptcy proceedings.
Hamburg Süd considered a merger with Hapag-Lloyd in 2013. The talks did not succeed, and Hapag went on to initiate mergers with CSAV and UASC instead.
Media reports suggest the Oetker family will meet to discuss Hamburg Süd's fate on Wednesday. The Oetker Group and Hamburg Süd have declined to comment on any potential sale, but Hamburger Abendblatt reports that there is a division within the family about which course to take: Rudolf August Oetker's eldest sons are said to favor keeping Hamburg Süd, while his younger children favor a sale. The family's corporate group has a wide range of other business interests, from wine to private banking to food products – but shipping is by far its largest division, accounting for about half of group sales last year.
CHINA SHIPPING LINE & COSCO MERGE SHIP BUILDING ARMS
China’s two biggest state-owned shipping companies plan to merge 11 shipbuilding yards into a single entity in one of the industry’s biggest consolidation moves yet as ship orders hit record lows, according to people familiar with the matter. If it goes ahead, the merger of the shipyards of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., or Cosco Group, and China Shipping Group Co. is expected to be announced by early next year, the people said.
The two companies had already combined their fleets and port operations last year to create China Cosco Holdings, the world’s fourth biggest container operator in terms of capacity. The combination of their shipbuilding arms will create China’s third biggest shipbuilding group.Cosco owns six yards and China Shipping Group owns five. Cosco also operates two joint-venture yards with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. It is unknown whether the joint ventures will be part of the merger. Kawasaki said Monday that it may exit the shipbuilding business.
Down payments for new vessels used to be 30%, the official said. But in the past 18 months, the share shrank to 10%, he said, adding to the challenges that shipbuilders face.Chinese shipbuilding industry officials said the two companies have a combined workforce of more than 25,000. Job losses in mergers of state companies are frowned upon in China. People involved in the process said the shipbuilding merger would be used as a model for a wider plan to merge the country’s two biggest shipbuilders— China Shipbuilding Corp. and China Shipbuilding Industry Co., which own dozens of yards along China’s Pacific coastline.China builds roughly half of the world’s new ships. But the once-thriving industry has been shrinking steadily for the past four years on tumbling orders and Beijing’s evolving strategy to stop subsidizing unprofitable enterprises.
The shipbuilding consolidation is part of China’s strategy to get more of its growth from services and consumption than heavy industry and construction.Chinese yards got a total of 127 orders this year amounting to $3 billion, compared with 621 orders worth $26.5 billion last year and 992 orders worth $33.7 billion in 2014.
At least 20 medium and large private shipyards closed in China last year, according to the industry executives, with total job losses of around 40,000.
INDIAN PORT & MAERSK LAUNCH WEEKLY MAINLINE SERVICE
Krishnapatnam, India’s largest all-weather, deep water port on the east coast, on Monday launched its weekly mainline service to China. The service to be operated by Maersk line in partnership with Hanjin Shipping of Korea will provide the fastest and most competitive service to the exporters and importers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and northern Tamil Nadu to the ports of China, East Asia and Southeast Asia. The current transit time for bulk cargo like furniture, office and hotel interiors is 40-45 days and this will be halved with the new service through Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal, said a statement from Krishnapatnam Port.
The weekly call of the mainline service was inaugurated by Franck Dedenis, MD, Maersk Line, at Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal along with Anil Yendluri, Director & CEO, Krishnapatnam Port. The service has been commenced in response to a strong representation from exporters of cotton, minerals, chilies, granite etc to eastern destinations; with the service calls directed at the ports of Shanghai, Qingdao, Nansha, Xingagang, Busan and Singapore.
“Andhra Pradesh, Bangalore and Hyderabad attract a huge volume of container cargo from China. Krishnapatnam Port owing to its strategic location and being a new age port is an ideal gateway for such shipments,” said Yendluri, adding “Suppliers in China are keen to use our port as a gateway for their current shipments as it is well poised to provide a very compelling and cost-efficient route for the traders based on the southern periphery of the country,”
“This weekly direct mainline service from China, Korea and Singapore to Krishnapatnam will provide importers in AP, Telangana and Bangalore the most cost and transit time efficient shipping service,” said Vinita Venkatesh, Director, KPCT.
CONCOR has commenced rake service (2 rakes per week) from ICD Bangalore to KPCT and thereby providing hot connection to the vessel for exports from Bangalore and also the fastest connection for imports clearance into Bangalore. Similarly a weekly container train service from ICD Hyderabad to KPCT has been commenced by CONCOR.
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