Matson, Inc. (NYSE: MATX), the leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced this week that it has struck a deal to acquire the primary assets of Reef Shipping, a South Pacific shipping company based in Auckland, New Zealand that has been in business since 1968.
The deal includes four vessels and approximately 1,500 pieces of container equipment. Matson has not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement but Matt Cox, Matson’s President and CEO, has said that the purchase price is “relatively small” compared to the significance of the deal.
“With this acquisition, Matson continues to expand its geographic reach into the South Pacific, and build on its well-earned expertise as a Pacific island carrier,” Cox said. “While the purchase itself is relatively small, it complements our growing network of Pacific island services. Historically, Matson vessels, including both freighters and luxury passenger ships, served the South Pacific for five decades, beginning in the 1920s. We are proud to return today to provide the same level of superior customer service and on-time delivery that is the hallmark of our other trade lanes.”
Following the closing of acquisition, which is expected before the end of year, Matson says it will continue to provide service to Reef’s historical core trade lanes from Auckland, New Zealand and Fiji to the island nations of Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Vanuatu, Tarawa and Majuro — all of which will be new markets for Matson.
In addition to the Hawaiian Islands, which Matson has been serving continuously since 1882, the company’s Pacific island services today include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.