Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Potential Rescue for Hapag-Lloyd

Giant shipper may receive emergency cash
Shipping News Feature

HAMBURG – Discussions are under way for Hapag-Lloyd AG, Germany’s largest container-shipping line, to get an emergency credit of €300 million, according to Bloomberg Press.

In a statement to reporters, Hamburg’s Finance Senator, Michael Freytag, said: “We have a solution... I believe Hapag can breathe freely.”

Hapag-Lloyd has been badly hit by the crash in the shipping markets and has had to introduce shorter working weeks.

The bailout will be part of a proposed 1.75 billion-euro rescue package by lenders and shareholders and is subject to the sale of Hapag-Lloyds 25 percent stake in Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG’s Altenwerder Container Terminal.

The shareholders would also be expected to raise €750 million of the necessary funds, with the remaining billion euros to be loaned by banks and underwritten by the German government. The shareholders include TUI AG, M.M. Warburg & Co, Hamburg city government and Klaus Michael Kuehne, executive chairman of Kuehne + Nagel.