Mumbai: German investor Klaus-Michael Kuehne's holding company has picked up a 25.1 per cent stake in container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd as the Hamberg-based TUI AG sold its shipping subsidiary to a group of German businessmen for around €4.45 billion ($6 billion).
A consortium of Hamburg businessmen, backed by the city council, won the bid to acquire Hapag-Lloyd the world's fifth-largest container shipping group, after Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines dropped out of the auction at the end of last week.
Under the deal, TUI would take a 33 per cent stake in the consortium's bid vehicle in a transaction valued at €700 million, and Kuehne said, the investor group would be interested in buying should TUI decide to sell.
TUI had weighed several options, including forging new alliances with other shipping companies, Kuehne said without naming any.
''Despite an adverse environment, the price we have achieved for container shipping reflects its fair value even under normal market conditions,'' said TUI chief executive Michael Frenzel.
According to Frenzel, the deal was made possible by its decision to sell only two-thirds of Hapag-Lloyd and retain the remaining.
TUI was forced to Sell Hapag-Lloyd following pressure from Norwegian director John Fredriksen, its largest shareholder. TUI is expected to offer a special dividend to shareholders.
|Dr Michael Frenzel (second from right) with the members of the Hamburg-led consortium: Axel Gedaschko, Dr Christian Olearius, Dr Wolfgang Peiner und Klaus-Michael Kühne (left to right). |
NOL, which was backed by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek, has been outbid by the Hamburg-based consortium headed by Christian Olearius, head of MM Warburg, and Klaus-Michael Kühne, head of Swiss-based logistics group Kühne & Nagel.
German business leaders and politicians had opposed the sale of Hapag-Lloyd to NOL as that would eroded Hamburg's position as Europe's second-biggest container port.