Photo courtesy Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Expands Terminals Business with $1 Billion Acquisition of SM SAAM

Mike Schuler
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October 4, 2022

Hapag-Lloyd is continuing to spend its pandemic profits to expand and modernize its business.

The German container shipping company announced Tuesday it has signed a binding agreement to acquire the entire terminal business of SM SAAM S.A. for around $ 1 billion. The agreement comprises 100% of the shares of SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics, and thereby SM SAAM’s entire terminal business and associated logistics services.

Chilean-based SM SAAM was founded in 1960 and has been listed on the Santiago Stock Exchange (SSE) since 2012.

The acquisition gives Hapag-Lloyd a stake a in 10 terminals in six North, Central and South American countries, with around 4,000 employees and a combined container throughput of around 3.5 million TEU in 2021. The related logistics services business comprises five locations in Chile, with together around 300 employees. SM SAAM’s tugboat services and airport logistics services businesses are not part of the transaction and will remain with SM SAAM.

“Investing in terminal infrastructure is a key element of our strategic agenda, and Latin America is one of our stronghold markets. Acquiring SM SAAM’s terminal operations and complementary logistics services will help us to further strengthen our business while building up a robust and attractive terminal portfolio,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

Armed with a huge war chest from container shipping’s pandemic bull run, Hapag-Loyd has been busy expanding and renewing its fleet, investing in the latest technology, and looking to expand its involvement in the terminal sector.

In-line with its Strategy 2023, Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it aims to acquire a minority stake in the Italy-based Spinelli Group, by acquiring a stake in JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven, and by investing in the construction of Terminal 2 in the Egyptian port of Damietta. Hapag-Lloyd also has a stake in the Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg and in Terminal TC3 of the Moroccan port of Tangier.

The closing of the SM SAAM transaction is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities and additional customary closing conditions. The new company will operate as independent entity.

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