The Denmark-based shipping giant Maersk Line and German carrier Hamburg Süd, a part of the Oetker Group, have received an approval from their respective boards for the previously agreed sale and purchase deal.
Maersk Line said it will acquire Hamburg Süd for EUR 3.7 billion (USD 4 billion) on a cash and debt-free basis, adding that it plans to fully finance the acquisition through a syndicated loan facility which has already been established.
The acquisition still remains subject to regulatory approvals. The proposed acquisition received an approval from the US Department of Justice on March 23, 2017, while the EU Commission approved the deal on April 10, 2017, subject to conditions.
Maersk Line A/S expects to close the transaction by the end of 2017. Until then, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line will continue business as usual as separate and independent companies.
The deal is expected to generate annual operational synergies of around USD 350-400 million as from 2019, primarily derived from integrating and optimising the vessel networks as well as utilising the terminal capacity in APM Terminals.
“Today, we have taken a decisive step towards the shared future of Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd,” Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Line and A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.
“The acquisition is cementing our position as the largest and leading carrier in container shipping, and it will provide great opportunities for the employees of both companies,” Skou added.
The latest move comes on the back of an agreement reached between the Danish container carrier and the Oetker Group at the start of December 2016.
Under the combined network, the parties plan to offer an increased number of weekly sailings, faster transit times, more port calls, more direct port-to-port calls and less need for transhipment.
With the acquisition, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of around 3.9 million TEU (3.3 million TEU) and an 18.7% (16%) global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 743 container vessels.