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Maersk said to be close to sale of Hamburg Süd’s dry bulk and tanker unit

Maersk’s takeover of Hamburg Süd included its dry bulk and tanker business, a unit the Danish container giant had little interest in keeping. A little more than a year on and a buyer is said to have been found with a deal soon to be announced

Lloyd’s List understands that an official announcement is imminent

MAERSK is close to finalising the sale of Hamburg Süd’s dry bulk and tanker unit, Lloyd’s List understands.

An announcement could be imminent on the future of a business the Danish shipping giant had little interest in keeping when it acquired the German company in late 2017.

A handful of companies were approached to take over the unit, with a decision now made on the buyer, said a source familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified as the deal is not yet public.

Maersk paid $4bn for Hamburg Süd a little over a year ago.

The deal comprised its container shipping business plus a fleet of about 55 chartered bulkers and tankers operated by subsidiaries RAO Shipping in Hamburg, Alianca Bulk based in Rio de Janeiro and chartering outfit Furness Withy Chartering, which has offices in London and Melbourne.

The tanker and bulker business accounted for about 7% of Hamburg Süd’s turnover. Excluding the tramp business, its revenue came to $5.4bn in 2017.

Lloyd’s List understands the chartered-in bulkers are on long-term contracts with Japanese owners.

Maersk referred all questions by Lloyd’s List about the unit to Hamburg Süd.

A spokesman for Hamburg Süd said the future focus for the company would be on container shipping and that it would look for a “suitable new owner” for the tramp shipping activities without any pressures to close the deal in a specific time frame.

He declined to comment on the progress made so far with finding a new owner.

Speaking to Lloyd’s List last year, AP Moller-Maersk chief executive Søren Skou said the group was looking for a “structural solution” for the tanker and bulk business.

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