Alphaliner: Hapag-Lloyd Unveils UASC’s USD 4 Bn Debt

Ahead of Hapag-Lloyd’s annual general meeting, the German company has revealed the financials of its merger partner Dubai-based shipping firm United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), which include the Arab carrier’s total financial debts of USD 4 billion as at the end of June 2016, according to Alphaliner.

During the first six months of 2016, UASC posted an operating loss of USD 132 million and net loss of USD 201 million on revenues of USD 1.5 billion in the first six months of this year. The company’s negative operating margin stood at -8.6% for the period, while its equity base was at USD 1.88 billion.

UASC’s equity position fell short of the minimum threshold of USD 1.9 billion that was agreed with Hapag-Lloyd under the terms of the planned merger, which “could mandate a compensatory payment by UASC shareholders at the time of merger’s completion,” Alphaliner said.

In 2015, the shipping firm posted an operating loss of USD 299 million and a net loss of USD 384 million, while its revenues for 2015 reached USD 3.3 billion.

Alphaliner added that a negative operating margin of -9% makes UASC “the worst performer among all main container carriers that have published financial results for 2015.”

Previously, UASC’s financial records were not disclosed publicly, as the shipping line is privately owned by six Arab states.

At the annual general meeting, scheduled to be held in Hamburg at the end of August, Hapag-Lloyd would seeking shareholders’ approval to amend its capital structure to complete a planned merger with UASC.

In July, the two container carriers signed a Business Combination Agreement (BCA), subject to the necessary regulatory and contractual approvals.

Following regulatory and contractual approvals expected to be obtained by the end of 2016, the new Hapag-Lloyd will own and operate 237 vessels with a total transport capacity of around 1.6 million TEU. The new company is expected to handle an annual transport volume of 10 million TEU and have a combined turnover of approximately USD 12 billion.

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