Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mr Kühne speaks out concerning Hapag-Lloyd

I was wondering what Mr. Kuehne had to say regarding the cash injection into Hapag-Lloyd.

He refused to participate, along with a couple of the other investors.

From Lloyd's List

Janet Porter and Friederike Krieger - Wednesday 29 July 2009

TEMPERS flared in Hamburg today as logistics entrepreneur Klaus-Michael Kühne called for Hapag-Lloyd to be restructured just hours after refusing to participate in the first stage of a refinancing package that had been agreed late Tuesday.
... the Kuehne+Nagel chairman, along with insurer Hanse Merkur, and the merchant bank MM Warburg, which were supposed to give €72m, refused to participate.

Neither will the world’s largest shipping bank, HSH Nordbank, be buying shares in CTA. Instead it has agreed to grant a €15m loan to Hapag-Lloyd.

The reason Mr. Kuehne is a shareholder, is because the Germans (he being one) want to keep it a German company.

Mr Kühne founded the Albert Ballin consortium a year ago to prevent the sale of Hapag-Lloyd to a foreign owner, and is its second largest shareholder after the city of Hamburg.

Perhaps they are changing their minds, considering how much money it is costing.

Following this week’s progress, shareholders have to reach a decision over the coming weeks on the next €400m tranche that Hapag-Lloyd requires before approaching Berlin for further assistance.

Mr Kühne said that his refusal to participate in the CTA purchase did not constitute a preliminary decision about long-term aid.

He also indicated that a merger with a bigger partner from Europe or Asia could not be ruled out.

The only other Germany company with a liner service is Hamburg-Sued. They are smaller than Hapag-Lloyd, privately owned, perhaps still making money but one never knows.

It could be, the German government will try to get Hamburg-Sued to take over Hapag-Lloyd, just to keep it a German company. I can't imagine Hamburg-Sued would take on all the debt. There might be some sort of structured bankruptcy agreement beforehand.

Just a guess.

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