Maersk Line’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd progresses as $4bn price revealed

The boards of both Maersk Line and Oetker Group have approved the recently agreed sale and purchase agreement for the Danish Line to buy Hamburg Süd for a price of EUR3.7bn ($4.03bn).

Maersk Line will acquire Hamburg Süd on a cash and debt-free basis, and will finance the acquisition through a syndicated loan facility.

Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk and Maersk Line commented: “Today, we have taken a decisive step towards the shared future of Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd. Our due diligence confirmed that Hamburg Süd is a well-run company with strong and highly respected brands. We have confirmed the anticipated synergies and we are convinced that our plan to maximize customer retention is the right path forward. I have no doubt that together we can develop new competitive products to the benefit of our customers and exploit operational synergies. 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.”

Maersk Line is targeting $300-400m in operational synergies via the combination of the two groups, which is still subject to regulatory approvals. The US Department of Justice and the EU Commission have both already approved the deal, which is now expected to closed by the end of the year.

Hamburg Süd will maintain its own structure and brands, while the combined network will include increased sailings, more port calls, more direct port-to-port calls and is expected to benefit both Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd customers.

“We consider the purchase price of EUR 3.7 billion a fair valuation of Hamburg Süd. By keeping Hamburg Süd as a separate and well-run company, we will limit the transaction and integration risks and costs while still extracting the operational synergies. The acquisition of Hamburg Süd will therefore create substantial value to Maersk Line already in 2019,” Skou added.

A combined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of around 3.9m teu, an 18.7% global capacity share, and a total of 743 container vessels.

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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