- Maersk Line has offered concessions to the European Commission in hopes of securing approval for its acquisition of Hamburg Sud's assets, Reuters reported Wednesday.
- The initial ruling on the merger was set for March 27 but has now been moved to April 10 in light of the new concessions.
- Antitrust concerns regarding the two lines' combined assets in South America are at the heart of the regulators' hesitation to approve the deal, according to JOC.com.
The specific concessions offered by Maersk Line are not specified, but almost certainly address the line's post-consolidation market share, particularly in South America.
If Maersk Line succeeds in acquiring Hamburg Sud's full assets, the company would operate two major lines operating in the U.S. East Coast - South America trade lane and control up to 80% of the market, according to JOC.com. If the European Commission does not approve it, a five month investigation would follow, per the report.
In general, a full acquisition would provide Maersk Line with 18.6% of global container capacity, which is more than double the size of 6 of the top 10 global lines.
The European Commission provides further information as to the lines' specific assets: Maersk operates 611 vessels (324 chartered) and has offices in 112 countries; Hamburg Sud operates 130 vessels (82 chartered) with five headquarters worldwide. The two lines officially signed a sale agreement March 14, wherein Hamburg Sud agreed to sell its affiliates and main business assets to Maersk.
A divestment could come in the form of agreeing to sell an affiliate, sell vessels, containers or slot capacity, among other possibilities. A final decision will come April 10, however, at which point full information will be available.