Thursday, September 3, 2009

Update- Hapag-Lloyd Berlin bail-out

From Reuters (click here for link)

TUI and the Albert Ballin consortium, which owns 57 percent of Hapag-Lloyd and includes Swiss-based German billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne and the city of Hamburg, appear to have overcome their differences despite mutinous murmurings from Kuehne earlier in the process.

They have agreed to convert existing credit lines into equity or hybrid loans while unwinding an earlier deal to sell Hapag-Lloyd’s 25 percent stake in Hamburg’s Altenwerder container terminal. This should pave the way for the German government to make the loan guarantees available.

Kuehne — who owns 55.8 percent of Swiss logistics firm Kuehne & Nagel — has bigger plans for Hapag-Lloyd, pushing the idea of a tie-up between Germany’s largest container shipping company and a European or Asian peer.

Kuehne’s instincts are probably right in the longer term. He clearly knows the business and how to run a successful logistics company. But it was necessary to paper over the differences between shareholders in order to keep the German government onside.

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