Everything is on track for the merger between Germany’s shipping line Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) to be finalized by the end of May, Hapag-Lloyd’s Spokesperson told World Maritime News.
The statement was given on the back of media reports that the merger has already been signed off and that the official confirmation will be released before Hapag-Lloyd’s annual general meeting scheduled for May 29.
“Currently we are preparing the integration within legal boundaries. We will issue a more extensive statement within the next two weeks,” the statement added.
The merger deal was signed in July, 2016, creating a combined company with a fleet of 237 vessels with a total transport capacity of around 1.6 million TEU. The new company is expected to handle an annual transport volume of 10 million TEU and have a combined turnover of approximately USD 12 billion.
Under the terms of the deal, CSAV, HGV (City of Hamburg) and Kühne Maritime would remain controlling shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd. The majority shareholders of UASC, Qatar Holding LLC and The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will become new key shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd holding 14 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Initially, the merger was planned to be completed by the end of March, however the final date was pushed as “the final preparations” took “more time than expected”.
The German container shipping firm said earlier that it had obtained all merger clearances and authority approvals as well as all necessary banking approvals, and that on UASC’s side “substantially all banking approvals…have been obtained,” stressing that the transaction itself was not at risk.
The statement was given amid media reports saying that the deal had been hindered by Qatar.
From 2019 onwards, Hapag-Lloyd expects the merger to result in annual synergies of USD 435 million.
This is offset by one-off expenses of around USD 150 million resulting from the transaction and the integration of UASC into Hapag-Lloyd.