Monday, July 9, 2018

"France's CMA CGM made merger approach to Germany's Hapag-Lloyd: sources"

Hapag-Lloyd had gone through so many mergers and divestitures that I'm not even sure what they own any more although they are still the number five or six container shipper and through 'The Alliance' with Japan's ONE and China's Yang Ming can move a box pretty much anywhere in the world.

But that's something CMA CGM can already do, on their own or through The Ocean Alliance. so there must be some other reason for the approach, maybe efficiencies that could be wrung out of a combination.

Reuters Exclusive, July 9:
The world's no. 3 container shipping line, CMA CGM of France, has made an exploratory approach to German rival Hapag-Lloyd (HLAG.DE) over a possible merger as players in the sector hunt for tie-ups to beat depressed conditions, finance sources say.

Three finance sources with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be named due to market sensitivity, said CMA CGM had initiated discussions in recent months with Hapag-Lloyd, which is ranked fifth globally, to look into some form of share merger of the two groups.

"The idea which has been proposed... would be a non-cash merger," one source said

Key Hapag shareholders had rebuffed the proposition, which would narrow the gap to market leader Maersk Line (MAERSKb.CO), the sources said.

A Hapag spokesman, asked whether such a deal had been discussed, said: "These market rumours are without substance."

A CMA spokesman declined to comment.

Hapag-Lloyd shares, which had been trading lower, surged by more than 10 percent following the Reuters report and were 3 percent higher at 1250 GMT....MORE
For more on  the ONE joint venture and The Alliance see pages 9 - 15 of MOL's May 2018 Investor Guidebook.