Maersk to sell Mercosul as part of Hamburg Sud deal

  Apr 14--DANISH shipping giant, AP Moller-Maersk Group, has confirmed that it's putting Brazilian cabotage subsidiary Mercosul Line up for sale as part of its deal to acquire container carrier Hamburg Sud from the German conglomerate Oetker Group.

  The group is selling Mercosul Line in a preemptive move aimed at satisfying any potential competition concerns from Brazil's Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE), American Shipper reported.

  Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mercosul Line operates four vessels with 2,500 TEU of capacity each on two services connecting the country's major seaports, according to information on the company's website.

  Hamburg Sud subsidiary Alianca Navegacao e Logistica currently controls 59 per cent of the Brazilian cabotage market, while Mercosul controls around 21 per cent, with the remaining share controlled by the companies' sole competitor, Log-In Logistica Intermodal, according to a report from Container Management Magazine.

  Multiple media reports said bidders for the firm include CMA CGM of France; Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC); China's COSCO Shipping; NYK of Japan; as well as Germany's Hapag-Lloyd, which a few years back bought Chilean north-south specialist CSAV.

  In an email to American Shipper, a Maersk spokesperson said: "With the purpose of securing the Brazilian competition authorities' (CADE) swift approval of the Hamburg Sud acquisition, it has been decided to divest Mercosul from AP Moller-Maersk. The divestment will ensure that the cabotage sector in Brazil remains competitive and that customers can benefit from a comprehensive choice of carriers."

  Maersk first announced its intentions to acquire Hamburg Sud, the world's seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the north-south trades, for an undisclosed price back in December 2016.

  If completed, the deal would increase Maersk's overall containership fleet from 3.14 million TEU to 3.76 million TEU, growing its share of the world container fleet from 15.7 per cent to 18.6 per cent.

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