Hamburg Sud buy will cost Maersk $4bn, but could save $500m a year
Maersk Line is to pay $4.03bn to acquire Hamburg Sud, following approval from the boards of both carriers.
The takeover, announced in December, had been expected to cost $3.2-$5.4bn and create $350m-$400m in annual operational synergies.
However, one banking source told the numbers seemed “somewhat low”, and suggested the savings could be as much as $500m a year.
“I believe the company is giving a lower number here and it will be materially higher than market expectations,” the source added.
Jefferies equity analyst Dave Kersetens agreed, saying $350m-$400m was at the lower end of his $300m-$500m prediction.
Under the deal, still subject to regulatory approval, Hamburg Sud will maintain its own structure and brand, with Maersk expecting high customer retention.
Chairman Ottmar Gast said he saw the acquisition as a natural development and was “convinced” Hamburg Sud would continue to thrive.
“It will maintain not only the services offered to its customers, but also provide its employees a fantastic opportunity to continue shaping the future of the industry,” he added.
The deal will give Maersk 18.7% of global capacity, with 743 containerships providing 3.9m teu of space according to the line.
Chief executive of Maersk Line and AP Moller Soren Skou said the carrier’s due diligence confirmed Hamburg Sud was a well-run company with “strong and highly respected brands”.
He added: “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.”
The combined network will offer increased sailings, faster transit times, more port calls (including direct port-to-port) and less need for transhipment services.
Following US Department of Justice and EU Commission approval, Maersk expects to complete the deal by the end of the year.
29 April 2017