- A.P. Moller-Maersk agreed to sell off Mercosul Line in order to secure its acquisition of Hamburg-Sud could clear the European Union, Reuters reported last week.
- Without the divestment, the purchase would have given Maersk Line an 80% share of trade to Brazil, thanks to Hamburg-Sud's ownership of Aliança Navegaçao. Maersk's Mercosul currently has 21% share, while Aliança boasts 59%, according to Portos e Navios.
- The European Commission will vote on the deal Monday, although JOC.com reports the antitrust regulators are poised to approve the deal. Prior to divestment, the acquisition would provide Maersk with an 18.6% share of global capacity.
Although the deal has yet to be approved, the concessions appear to be official as reports show Maersk Line already placed Mercosul for sale in Brazil, and multiple suitors have emerged.
Portos e Navios reports CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company have already shown interest, and Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Line and Cosco China Shipping. The opportunity to acquire a Brazilian flagship carrier does not come often given the country's barriers to entry, so while the country is struggling economically now, an investment in a formerly-hailed BRICS economy's flagship could prove profitable in the long-run.
In addition, the vessels to be sold are well equipped: A total of four ships with a 2,500 TEU capacity each, plus an aggregate of 368 refrigeration-capable plugs, will hit the selling block. While such a divestment would still leave Maersk with an 18.5% share of global trade, it would remove antitrust concerns within the South American trade lanes as the line would only control 59% share of trade to Brazil.