Monday, July 2, 2012
Hapag owner eyes Hamburg Süd as merger partner
Rival shipping company Hamburg Süd would be an ideal merger partner to help Hapag-Lloyd jump into the top echelon of shipping companies, according to major shareholder Klaus-Michael Kuehne, head of the consortium that holds 78 percent of Hapag-Lloyd. Hamburg Süd is Germany's largest private shipping line.
"Only a merger can hoist the shipper (Hapag) back into the lead group alongside Denmark's Maersk and Switzerland's MSC," said Kuehne in an interview in Wirtschaftswoche magazine.
TUI AG, which owns a 22 percent share of Hapag, tried to float a stake in Hapag-Lloyd last year but the effort failed due to market turmoil in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
Kuehne, owner of Swiss logistics group Kuehne and Nagle, voiced his plan to remain a long-term shareholder in Hapag-Lloyd after the shipping company's first public offering, scheduled for 2013. If the company gets an influx of cash, diluting his holdings, Kuehne said he would adjust his investment to maintain a blocking minority stake of 25 percent.
"It is important to me to secure the long-term independence of the shipping company in Hamburg," Kuehne told the magazine.
For more of the Reuters story: www.reuters.com
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