Hapag-Lloyd and the container activities of Chilean Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) have completed their merger, becoming the fourth-largest liner shipping company in the world.

The merger is expected to result in many synergies. Annual savings of at least US$300 million are anticipated as a result of network optimizations, improvements to productivity and reductions in costs. The merged company will have around 200 vessels with a total capacity of approximately one million TEUs, transporting some 7.5 million TEUs every year and will set up its fourth regional headquarter in Valparaiso, Chile. With revenue of around US$12 billion, the combined entity joins the elite group of international shipping companies.

Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd: “This is a big day for both companies. With Hapag-Lloyd’s strength in Asian traffic and on the North Atlantic, combined with CSAV’s strong position in Latin America, we will become the leading shipping company in this region – and thereby be able to offer our global customers an even more attractive network and wider range of products. Our ability to compete will also be significantly enhanced by closing the gap to the top three of our industry”. He continues, “Our immediate priorities now are to continue to offer excellent service to all of our customers and to honour all the commitments both companies made, whilst we plan the upcoming integration. There will be no major changes to the way we work until the transition to the Hapag-Lloyd systems towards the end of the first quarter 2015”.

Oscar Hasbún, CEO of CSAV, adds: “We are very proud of the fact that our two long-established companies will now become one of the most prominent players in the global container shipping industry and that this Company has a firm foothold in Latin America, including our home market of Chile. We fit together perfectly thanks to our complementary network, our customer structure, and our excellent professionalism and reputation”.

In addition to integrating CSAV’s container business into Hapag-Lloyd, there are also plans to strengthen the Company by raising capital of 370 million euros by 31 December 2014, in which CSAV will take a share of 259 million euros and Kühne Maritime 111 million euros. The ownership structure of Hapag-Lloyd AG will therefore change as follows: CSAV will become Hapag-Lloyd’s biggest shareholder with 34 per cent after the new investment. The other shareholders are HGV (23.2 per cent), Kühne Maritime (20.8 per cent), TUI (13.9 per cent), Signal Iduna (3.3 per cent), HSH Nordbank (1.8 per cent), M.M. Warburg (1.8 per cent) and Hanse Merkur (1.1 per cent).

CSAV, HGV and Kühne Maritime have agreed to pool 51 per cent of the shares in Hapag-Lloyd to permit them to jointly make key decisions in the future. Of this pool structure, CSAV owns a 50 per cent participation, while HGV and Kühne Maritime will own 25 per cent each.

Technical aspects of the integration process are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2015.