Hamburg-Sued Seeks Options After Merger Talks Fail

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June 17, 2014

Photo courtesy Hamburg Sued

ReutersFRANKFURT, June 17 (Reuters) – Germany’s second biggest container shipper Hamburg-Sued is seeking options for the business after merger talks with bigger rival Hapag-Lloyd failed last year, Chief Executive Ottmar Gast said on Tuesday.

“We are working on alternatives,” Gast told reporters at the results news conference of Hamburg-Sued parent Oetker Group.

Gast, who is part of the four-member management group of Oetker Group’s holding company Dr. August Oetker KG, did not provide details, noting only that “size isn’t everything”.

Hamburg-Sued and Hapag-Lloyd ended talks in March 2013 to create the world’s fourth-largest shipper after failing to agree on which of the two should have management control.

Shipping groups have struggled with the worst slump on record, with a weak global economy, oversupply of vessels and low freight rates providing impetus for sector consolidation.

Hapag-Lloyd in April this year signed a deal with Compania SudAmericana de Vapores to take over the Chilean’s shipping company’s container business and create the world’s No. 4 player behind Maersk Line, part of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Company and France’s CMA CGM.

Hamburg-Sued’s revenue declined 4 percent to 5.25 billion euros ($714.79 billion) last year, the Oetker Group said on Tuesday. The company does not disclose profit figures.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Marilyn Gerlach, editing by David Evans)

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