Sunday, February 12, 2012

Investor shuffle for Hapag-Lloyd

TUI has been trying to sell off it's remaining holdings of Hapag-Lloyd.Link
Bloomberg News has the inside scoop of what might be reported within a couple of days.

The city-state of Hamburg may become the largest shareholder of shipping company Hapag-Lloyd AG, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, without citing a source for the information.

Hamburg may pay 420 million euros ($555 million) to TUI AG (TUI1) to boost its stake in Hapag-Lloyd to more than 37 percent from 23.6 percent, the newspaper said in an advance copy of an article in tomorrow’s edition.

Billionaire shipping magnate Klaus-Michael Kuehne is ready to pay TUI 160 million euros to increase his 24.6 percent stake while insurers Hanse-Merkur and Signal Iduna plan to pay 13 million euros and 7 million euros respectively for shares in the shipping company held by TUI, the newspaper said.

The plans are part of an agreement with TUI that may be completed on Feb. 14, FAZ said. TUI’s stake in Hapag-Lloyd will probably shrink to around 20 percent from 38.4 percent, the newspaper said.

Daniel Stricker, a spokesman for Hamburg’s financial authority, and Robin Zimmermann, a spokesman for TUI AG (TUI1), both said separately that TUI and Hamburg-based Albert Ballin’s investment group, which comprises Hamburg’s state government, Kuehne, Signal Iduna, Hanse-Merkur, M.M. Warburg & Co. and HSH Nordbank AG, are in “advanced talks.”

Details reported on the stakes are “pure speculation,” said Stricker, who also said he can’t exclude that TUI may make an announcement on a possible agreement on Feb. 15 at its annual shareholder meeting.

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