German line Hapag-Lloyd has strengthened its position in the African market having sealed an agreement to acquire Dutch container shipping company NileDutch.
With 10 liner services and a fleet of around 80,000 teu, NileDutch is a leading provider of container services to West Africa. The Rotterdam-headquartered company, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, connects Europe, Asia and Latin America with West and South Africa.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, commented: “Africa is an important strategic growth market for Hapag-Lloyd. The acquisition of NileDutch strengthens our position in West Africa and will be an excellent addition to our existing activities on the continent. Our combined customer base will benefit from a denser network from and to Africa as well as from a much higher frequency of sailings. We welcome the new colleagues from NileDutch and hope that together we can further develop our business in Africa in the years to come.”
Wim van Aalst, president of NileDutch, added: “Hapag-Lloyd and NileDutch are a very good fit and I am happy that we join forces. Combining our business and expertise in West Africa with Hapag-Lloyd´s worldwide network will enable us to make the next step and further develop the Africa business.”
The deal is subject to approval of relevant antitrust authorities.
Hapag-Lloyd is currently the fifth largest containerline in terms of operating capacity according to Alphaliner, having acquired other regional operators CSAV in 2014 and UASC in 2017. This latest deal will help it consolidate this position with both ONE and Evergreen snapping at its heals due to much larger ordering plans.
Commenting on the news via LinkedIn, Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting, who has charted liner consolidation closely over the past decade, commented that the deal would augment Hapag-Lloyd’s portfolio in a strategic location.
“In terms of fleet size this is not exactly large – NileDutch has a fleet only 2% of the size of Hapag-Lloyd. But the important part is the strengthened foothold this gives Hapag in Africa,” Jensen wrote.
Hapag-Lloyd reported today it almost tripled its net result in 2020.
The net result in 2020 amounted to EUR935m($1.12 billion) compared with EUR373m in 2019.