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Merger and acquisition activity on the rise

Excerpts from Container Management:

Mergers and takeovers are increasing in the container shipping arena, according to industry consultant, Drewry.

Subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, US Jones Act carrier Horizon Lines is selling its Hawaii operations for US$141.5m to the Pasha Group, which will augment its existing roll-on/roll-off operations between the US mainland and Hawaii. Also going is Horizon’s Puerto Rico services, which are being sold to Matson for US$69.2m.

While these deals, and the more advanced transactions such as the merger between CSAV and Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Süd’s purchase of CCNI’s container activities, are not going to drastically reshape the container shipping market, they do suggest that carriers are more confident and looking to expand. Due to the high expense and complexity involved, M&A is not expected to occur between any of the big shipping lines, who instead are protecting themselves through more wide reaching vessel sharing agreements.

Drewry concludes that while merger and acquisition activity is gaining momentum, for the time being it will remain restricted to smaller, regional deals.

More at Container Management


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