Hapag-Lloyd AG, Germany’s biggest container shipper, is negotiating an all-share transaction to acquire Chile’s Cia. Sud Americana de Vapores SA, according to three people with knowledge of the talks.
The proposed deal would bring in the billionaire Luksic family, which controls CSAV with a 46 percent stake, as a Hapag-Lloyd shareholder, joining billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne, who owns 28.3 percent of the Hamburg-based shipper, said the people, asking not to be identified as talks are private.
CSAV shareholders would own about 30 percent of the combined company, one of the people said. Officials at the Chilean company declined to comment on the talks through an external press representative, who asked not to be named citing company policy. Andronico Luksic didn’t respond to a request for comment made through an assistant in Santiago.
Executives from both companies are in talks in Germany this week as they seek to overcome a prolonged slump in the container shipping market and compete with larger rival A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, one of the people said. The Luksics, Chile’s wealthiest family, took a bet on the industry in 2011 when it began building a stake in Valparaiso, Chile-based CSAV.
Hapag-Lloyd is turning to CSAV after talks to merge with local competitor Hamburg Sued failed in March because shareholders of both companies couldn’t agree on terms.
Tour operator TUI AG (TUI1), which has repeatedly said it wants to divest its 22 percent stake in Europe’s fourth-biggest container liner, is considering the public listing of a small amount of shares in Hapag-Lloyd as a first step to exit, Chief Financial Officer Horst Baier said in a Dec. 18 interview.
Hapag-Lloyd shareholders have delayed an IPO as they await improved market conditions, TUI Chief Executive Officer Friedrich Joussen said Sept. 27.
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