Hapag-Lloyd Cuts IPO by 40% as VW and China Cause Turmoil

  • Shares seen to start trading Oct. 30 in Frankfurt and Hamburg
  • Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Berenberg to provide new loan

Hapag-Lloyd AG, Germany’s biggest shipping line, scaled back its initial public offering by 40 percent after an emissions-testing scandal at Volkswagen AG and the slowdown of the Chinese economy sparked volatility on global stock markets.

The Hamburg-based container carrier now plans to raise $300 million in the IPO, instead of the $500 million target it announced last month, Hapag-Lloyd said in a statement published on its website. It will sell as many 15.7 million shares, setting a price range of 23 euros ($26.32) to 29 euros per stock. The offer period will probably run from Thursday to Oct. 15, and the company plans to start trading at the Frankfurt and Hamburg exchanges on Oct. 30, it said.

“Despite challenging capital market conditions we believe this is the right step for Hapag-Lloyd,” Chief Executive Officer Rolf Habben Jansen said in the statement, reiterating that he plans to spend proceeds on new vessels and containers. “Management and shareholders have decided to resize the offering volume to a level that enables Hapag-Lloyd’s future investment targets,” the company said.

Hapag-Lloyd merged last year with the container-shipping operations of Valparaiso, Chile-based Cia. Sud Americana de Vapores SA to create what was then the world’s fourth-largest cargo line by capacity. In recent weeks, Hapag-Lloyd has fallen to fifth place after being overtaken by Taiwanese shipper Evergreen Line, according to trade publication Alphaliner.

To make up for the reduced volume in the share sale, Hapag-Lloyd arranged a $125 million loan, which will be provided by its IPO advisers Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. KG, Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s international unit, it said.

Billionaire stakeholder Klaus-Michael Kuehne and CSAV, which have agreed to hold a stake of at least 51 percent for 10 years and to pool their voting rights, also cut the total volume of their planned extra orders by 40 percent to $60 million in stock.

German tourism operator TUI AG, which holds 14 percent of the company, will sell as many as 2.3 million existing shares, while offering another 1.9 million shares to cover potential over-allotments. The total offering size including primary proceeds, TUI’s shares and the over-allotment option would be $410 million, meaning a free float of as much as 19 percent including 5 percent held by existing shareholders, Hapag-Lloyd said.

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