The European Commission postponed approval for Maersk Line’s acquisition of Hamburg Sud to April 10. The Danish shipping conglomerate also offered new concessions in attempt to secure approval on the transaction. The antitrust concerns are regarding the two lines’ combined assets in South America, which are in the heart of the regulators’ hesitation to approve the deal. The specific concessions offered by Maersk Line are not specified. The European Commission’s website stated on Wednesday that a ruling on the deal will now be given by April 10 instead of previously expected March 27.
The deal was originally announced in December last year. Its completion is planned before the end of this year subject to the approval of the regulators of China, Korea, Australia, Brazil, the US and the EU.
The fleet of the merged operator will be 741 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.8 million TEU (compared with 3.1 million TEU from Maersk Line today) and the market share will increase to 18.6% (compared to 15.7%). The company would operate two major lines operating in the US East Coast – South America trade lane and control up to 80% of the market. The acquisition will improve the strength of the 2M Alliance line network to take on the Ocean and THE alliances when they form this year.
A.P. Mоller – Maersk Group is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with subsidiaries and offices in more than 135 countries worldwide and around 89,000 employees. It ranked 148 on the Forbes Global 2000 list for 2015.