The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Oetker family is considering selling its German containerline, Hamburg Sud. This is not the first time the line has been put in the shop window, but the matter has become more pressing as the container shipping sector has consolidated dramatically this year and to not be in an alliance, like Hamburg Sud, is deemed very tricky moving forward.
Hamburg Sud, the seventh-largest containerline in the world, is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate, involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages.
“If a sale is decided, the process could start before the end of the year,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. The same paper has in recent weeks reported that Israel’s Zim containerline is also up for sale with Citi touring shipping capitals looking for a buyer. Like Hamburg Sud, Zim is not a member of any alliance.
The newspaper stated that Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and Cosco were the most likely buyers of Hamburg Sud.
Hamburg Sud did discuss a merger with Hapag-Lloyd three years ago but nothing materialised. Splash understands that deal fell through as the younger Oetker siblings voted against the merger. Hapag-Lloyd, also from Hamburg, has merged with CSAV and UASC in recent years.