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US stops Maersk’s box manufacturing unit sale to the Chinese

The US Justice Department has stopped the sale of Maerk’s reefer manufacturing unit over fears it would give the Chinese too great a control of a strategic business.

Last September a deal was struck to sell Maersk Container Industry to China International Marine Containers (CIMC) for $987.3m. However, after consideration American authorities have stopped the sale.

The US Justice Department said the deal would have combined two of the world’s four suppliers of refrigerated shipping containers and further concentrated the global cold supply chain.

The Justice Department said it “would also have consolidated control of over 90% of insulated container box and refrigerated shipping container production worldwide in Chinese state-owned or state-controlled entities.”

“It is unfortunate that the transaction will not happen despite efforts of all parties involved,” said Patrick Any, chief financial officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk, adding: “Maersk will continue to be a proud owner of MCI for the foreseeable future, and we will now assess the best structural set-up for MCI to ensure the long-term development of the business.”

China’s dominance in container manufacturing – both dry and reefers – has been discussed repeatedly by politicians in Washington DC in recent years.

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.


  1. Agree that is wise not to sell to China, but are just perplexed how US can stop a sale from a Danish company. How is US involved in this affair. Or it is that they (US) do not recommend the sale. I know Maersk have big business with US military. Anyhow, show that uncle Sam’s arms have long reach.

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