EU Gives Conditional Nod to Maersk’s Acquisition of Hamburg Süd

The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Germany’s liner shipping company Hamburg Süd by Danish container shipping giant Maersk Line, subject to conditions.

The clearance is conditional upon the withdrawal of German carrier from five consortia on trade routes connecting (i) Northern Europe and Central America/Caribbean, (ii) Northern Europe and West Coast South America, (iii) Northern Europe and Middle East, (iv) the Mediterranean and West Coast South America and (v) the Mediterranean and East Coast South America, the EU Commission said.

The reason behind such decision is that the merged entity would have faced insufficient competition after the transaction on the said routes.

“Competitive shipping services are essential for European companies and for the EU’s economy as a whole. The commitments offered by Maersk Line and HSDG will maintain a healthy level of competition to the benefit of the very many EU companies that depend on these container shipping services,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.

Maersk Line submitted commitments to the European Commission on March 20 aimed at removing potential competition related impediments to its acquisition of shares in Hamburg Süd.

As informed earlier, Maersk expects to close the transaction by the end of 2017.

The Danish container shipping company inked the sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of the German carrier on March 14.

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