Monday, February 7, 2011

HAPAG-Lloyd's future, sunny or gloomy?

1. Tokyo Express sails 2011-02-05 on a sunny day.

2. New York Express arrives 2011-02-06 on a gloomy day.

HAPAG-Lloyd, the world's fifth largest container line, and Halifax's largest container customer is apparently set to be "floated" by IPO. The shipping company is now owned 49.8% by TUI a German travel company and 50.2% by the Albert Ballin Group (which consists of an number of backers.)

TUI has been trying to unload its share of H-L for several years, but the economy stalled efforts to float it on the stock market. A return to prosperity by Maersk (the world's largest) and a settling down of concerns about MSC and CMA/CGM (the #2 and #3 lines) have lead to reports that TUI will soon be making a move to sell about half of its current stake by IPO.

There is still concern among financiers as to who might be in the market for such a small chunk of H-L, since most major players would want a majority. There is also the issue of whether H-L is profitable enough to bring in a good price. Time will tell.
In the meantime HAPAG-Lloyd continues to stream in and out of Halifax on a regular schedule.

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