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Skou: Consolidation will continue after Hamburg Süd acquisition

Even though Maersk Line's acquisition of Hamburg Süd is seen as the last remaining piece of the consolidation puzzle taking place in the global container sector, there is sure to be more on the way, says Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou, who plans to maintain Hamburg Süd's brand and Hamburg headquarters.

Photo: Carsten Snejbjerg/Polfoto/Arkiv

The consolidation in the global container industry is far from over, says Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou on the same day he is able to announce the Danish carrier's acquisition of the world's seventh-largest container carrier, Hamburg Süd.

The price is not disclosed, but as Søren Skou explained at a press briefing following the announcement Thursday, the price is "fair," which according to the Chief Executive should be seen in light of the fact that Hamburg Süd is a well-operated carrier with a professional management team. Perhaps the price, which according to ShippingWatch's sources came to around USD five billion, is so high also due to the fact that other carriers presented generous offers to acquire the German carrier, as Hamburg Süd has been viewed as "the missing link" in the large-scale consolidation wave – a wave which has washed over the container sector in recent years and especially in 2016. If Maersk Line had missed out on the chance to purchase the Oetker family's carrier with its characteristic red vessels, the company would have had to wait a very long time before a similarly attractive and major acquisition opportunity would have presented itself again.

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