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Maersk May Target Hanjin, Hyundai in New Acquisition Plan

  • Jefferies says Maersk needs to buy, and Korean lines need help
  • Hanjin Shipping shares jump as much as 29 percent in Seoul
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Maersk May Target Hanjin & Hyundai Merchant Marine

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A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s container line, which this month ditched a strategy of building new vessels and will instead try to grow through acquisitions, is targeting South Korea’s two biggest shipping firms, according to Jefferies International Ltd.

Hanjin Shipping Co. last month filed for bankruptcy protection and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. is in the middle of a creditor-led debt-restructuring program. Both are in need of a strong partner and Maersk Line, the world’s biggest, is probably the only rival with the financial muscle to manage a takeover, David Kerstens, Jefferies’s transport analyst in London, said in an interview. Hanjin shares surged as much as 29 percent.