Monday, January 21, 2019

Bulk Shipping Line Interests Sold Off by Maersk Subsidiary

Singapore Group Picks Up Established German Rival
Shipping News Feature
SINGAPORE – GERMANY – Two shipping companies, first formed just a year apart almost 150 years ago, have seen a deal in which the bulk shipping business of Hamburg Süd (formed 1871) has been acquired by the China Navigation Company Pte. Ltd (CNCo) which began operations in Shanghai the following year.

The bulk shipping business of Hamburg Süd includes the activities of Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO), Furness Withy Chartering and the bulk activities in Alianca Navegacão (Aliabulk) and operates from Hamburg, London, Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro with a chartered fleet of approximately 45 vessels in the segments: Handysize, Supra/Ultramax and Kamsarmax/Panamax.

The deal does not impact the container shipping activities of the German line which is now already in Danish hands and Dr. Arnt Vespermann, CEO of Hamburg Süd, commented:

“With this step, Hamburg Süd is focusing as planned on its liner business with its two container shipping brands, Hamburg Süd and Aliança. As part of Maersk, the world’s largest liner shipping company, this clear focus is a logical step. At the same time, CNCo, is an established and well-respected company in bulk shipping that is on a growth course in this segment and therefore constitutes a good new home for RAO, Furness Withy and Aliança Bulk.”

CNCo, now headquartered in Singapore, is the wholly owned deep-sea ship owning and operating division of the multinational Swire Group. The company today employs around 2,500 employees globally and owns and operates about 135 vessels consisting mainly of dry bulk carriers and multipurpose liner vessels. Swire Bulk, its dry bulk trading business, was established in 2012 and trades a modern fuel-efficient fleet of over 100 Handysize and Supra/Ultramax vessels comprised of owned, long term and short term-chartered tonnage.

The CNCo management says the business is focused on being a leading provider of sustainable and innovative shipping services and being partner of choice to its’ long-term charterers and industrial customers with James Woodrow, Managing Director of The China Navigation Company, adding:

“CNCo is excited to have successfully signed this acquisition. There are some very natural synergies between the businesses and we are delighted to acquire such an experienced and high-quality team and business that complements our own modern eco fleet and helps to develop our strategic expansion in to the Supra/Ultramax segment.

”We share a strong corporate culture with a rich history spanning close to 150 years between Hamburg Süd (1871), The China Navigation Company (1872) and Furness Withy (1891) that demonstrates a shared vision and long-term commitment to the Maritime Industry.“

Closing of the agreement is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. The parties have agreed not to disclose the sales price. The RAO Tankers business unit is not included in the sale and will remain part of the Hamburg Süd Group.

Photo: An oil painting from Hamburg Süd’s own archive. Pictured in the centre is the Corrientes. built in 1881, and the Rio (right), one of the first three ships to be purchased in 1871, the founding year.