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Klaus-Michael Kühne seeks greater influence at Hapag-Lloyd

Klaus-Michael Kühne has signalled his intention to have a greater influence at Hapag-Lloyd by seeking an extra seat on the supervisory board ahead of next week’s annual general meeting.

Last month, Kühne Holdings increased its stake in the German line to 30% making him the biggest shareholder alongside Chilean shipping company CSAV, who also own a 30% stake. The state funds of Qatar and Saudi Arabia together hold 22.5%, making them the next biggest shareholder.

Kühne currently has one seat on the Hapag-Lloyd board, filled by Kühne Holdings chairman Karl Gernandt, while CSAV and the Middle Eastern state funds each have two seats on the board.

According to local reports, Kühne appears to have missed the deadline for having his boardroom proposal voted on at next week’s AGM.

However, with Hapag-Lloyd’s share price in free fall right now, it might not be long before Kühne strengthens his stake further. Over the last two weeks, the Hamburg-headquartered line’s shares have halved in value from EUR186 to under EUR90 per share.

Kühne, who also hails from Hamburg, is the controlling stakeholder of freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.

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