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Maerks finalizes Hamburg Süd takeover

The European competition authority gave permission for the take-over of Hamburg Süd by Maersk yesterday. The only condition is that the Danish shipping company hives off five of Hamburg Süd’s routes.

It concerns the routes between Northern Europe and Central America and the Caribbean; Northern Europe and the South American western coast; Northern Europe and the Middle East; plus the Mediterranean and South American eastern coast.

According to the authorities, there would be insufficient competition left on these routes after the take-over. That’s why Maersk will have to let go of the five routes. After research, the European Commission concluded that the combination of the shipping companies would reduce competition on these routes. The position would be such that Maersk would gain too much influence in, for example, capacity on the routes.

To meet the Commission’s conditions, Maersk agreed to pull Hamburg Süd from five alliances: Eurosal 1/SAWC, Eurosal 2/SAWC, EPIC 2, CCWM/MEDANDES and MESA. The shipping company will remain part of the consortiums for now, but an orderly departure is being worked on.

A member of the European Commission, Margrethe Verstager said: “Competitive shipping is essential for European companies and for the European economy as a whole. The commitments of Maersk and Hamburg Süd provide a healthy competition to the advantage of the many European companies dependent on these container shipping companies.”

In December, Maersk made an offer of approximately four billion dollars to the German shipping company. Earlier, Maersk announced that it will repel its Mercosul Line in Brazil to meet the competition watchdogs in the South American country.

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