Maersk Line and the Oetker Group have reached an agreement for Maersk Line to acquire Hamburg Süd, the German container shipping line. The acquisition is subject to final agreement and regulatory approvals.

Hamburg Süd, the world’s seventh largest container shipping line, operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent). It has 5,960 employees in more than 250 offices worldwide and markets its services through the Hamburg Süd, CCNI (based in Chile) and Aliança (based in Brazil) brands. In 2015, Hamburg Süd had revenue of US $6.726 billion of which US $6.261 million stems from its container line activities.

“Today is a new milestone in Maersk Line’s history. I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the Oetker Group to acquire Hamburg Süd,” said Søren Skou, chief executive officer of Maersk Line and the Maersk Group.  “Hamburg Süd is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line, and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds, first of all in the North-South trades.”

“We are proud to join the global market leader Maersk Line,” said Dr Ottmar Gast, chairman of the executive board of the Hamburg Süd Group. “While gaining access to a superior network and systems we will continue the Hamburg Süd brand and business model, offering personalized solutions to our shippers and consignees. By joining forces, both Maersk and Hamburg Süd will strengthen their product portfolio and cost position to the benefit of their customers.”

 Maersk Line announced September 22, 2016 that it would grow market share organically and through acquisitions.

Hamburg Süd and Aliança will continue as separate brands and continue to serve customers through their local offices.

The acquisition is subject to satisfactory due diligence, final agreement and regulatory approval in China, Korea, Australia, Brazil, the United States and the European Union. Maersk Line expects to close the transaction by the end of 2017. Until then, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line will continue business as usual.

With the acquisition, Maersk Line will have container capacity of around 3.8 million TEU (3.1 million TEU) and an 18.6% (15.7%) global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 741 container vessels with an average age of 8.7 years (9.2 years).