CMA CGM buys Mercosul from Maersk

CMA CGM is buying Mercosul Line from Maersk Line as part of the latter’s agreement to soothe regulators over its Hamburg Süd acquisition.

Mercosul Line, which Maersk acquired 11 years ago, is one of the leading players in Brazil’s domestic container shipping market.

The Mercosul transaction is subject to Brazilian regulatory approval and the closing of Maersk’s Hamburg Süd acquisition. At the earliest, the integration of Mercosul and its four ships within CMA CGM will start at the same time as the Hamburg Süd integration, which is expected in Q4 2017. Until then, Mercosul Line will continue business as usual.

Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of CMA CGM, declared: “The acquisition of Mercosul represents a milestone in CMA CGM’s development strategy in South America. It is a well-managed company and we will leverage this platform to expand our footprint and service offerings to and from Latin America,  seizing opportunities linked to the high growth prospects in this region. As a result, CMA CGM will be able to propose complete door-to-door services continue providing best-in-class services to its customers.”

No price for the acquisition has been revealed.

Lars Jensen, founder of Seaintelligence Consulting and a regular Splash contributor, noted on LinkedIn that both CMA CGM and Maersk Line are pursuing multi-brand strategies, unlike many of its rivals such as MSC or Hapag-Lloyd. Maersk Line and CMA CGM now operate eight different brands each.

“At the core this is about weighting the simplicity – and hence operational efficiency – of a single brand, versus the opportunity to tap into presumably better paying niche cargo at the ‘cost’ of higher managerial complexity,” Jensen commented.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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