July 18 - Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have concluded a business combination agreement (BCA) to merge both companies, subject to the necessary regulatory and contractual approvals.
Following the integration, the merged container line will rank among the five largest in the world, with 237 vessels in its fleet, a total transport capacity of 10 million teu, and a combined turnover of approximately USD12 billion.
As part of the agreement, CSAV, HGV (City of Hamburg) and Kühne Maritime will remain controlling shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd; while UASC's majority shareholders - Qatar Holding and The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - will become new shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd.
"This strategic merger makes a lot of sense for both carriers - as we are able to combine UASC's emerging global presence and young and highly efficient fleet with Hapag-Lloyd's broad, diversified market coverage and strong customer base," said Hapag-Lloyd ceo Rolf Habben Jansen.
The combined company will remain a registered and stock listed company in Germany with its head office in Hamburg. The agreement will also see a fifth Hapag-Lloyd regional centre established in Dubai.
With the merger complete, the combined company will become a key player in the new container alliance - THE Alliance - which comprises Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, "K" Line, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, NYK and Yang Ming. The alliance is scheduled to begin operations in April 2017 and cover all East-West trade lanes.
Following regulatory and contractual approvals, the merger is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016; until then, UASC and Hapag-Lloyd will continue to operate as stand-alone companies.
Each company will also operate in its own alliance until the end of March 2017, after which THE Alliance will commence operations.
Hapag-Lloyd has expressed its commitment to the special cargo side of its business.