Maersk Line mulling to buy German peer Hamburg Süd

Maersk Line, the world's biggest container-shipping operator, is mulling buying its German peer Hamburg Süd, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

A successful deal will boost Maersk Line's presence in global trade with Latin America, the report said.

A deal would come after Maersk Line recently acquired and chartered ships from its South Korean bankrupt peer Hanjin Shipping Co

The report said that Maersk Line is not interested in buying just a few vessels of Hamburg Süd, but the entire company.

Hamburg Süd, part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages, is the world's seventh-biggest container operator in terms of capacity.

Founded in 1871, Hamburg Süd is one of the leading providers in the North-South trades and has annual revenues of $6.7 billion.

The Hamburg-based company has a total of 130 container ships, including 48 owned and 82 chartered, and 59 chartered Tramp ships.

Maersk, which moves about 15 per cent of global seaborne freight, has publicly said that it is looking for acquisitions to increase its market share.

Copenhagen-based Maersk is the world's largest container shipping company providing ocean transportation in all parts of the world.

It has 317 offices in 112 countries, employs more than 88,000 people in around 130 countries, operates 611 container vessels and has annual revenues of $40.3 billion.

It markets its services through the Maersk Line, Safmarine, SeaLand (Intra-Americas), MCC Transport (Intra-Asia) and Seago Line (Intra-Europe) brands.