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HAMBURG: Hapag-Lloyd and the Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) have completed the merger of the Chilean company's container business to become the world's fourth largest liner shipping company.

The new company says the merger is expected to produce savings of US$300 million and generate annual revenues of US$12 billion from operating 200 vessels carrying 7.5 million TEUs.

CSAV Hapag LloydHapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said: "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."

Some €370 million of new capital will be raised by the end of the year of which CSAV's stake will be €259 million and Kühne Maritime €111 million.

As a result, CSAV will become Hapag-Lloyd's largest shareholder with 34 percent followed by Hamburg Group Holding with 23.2 percent and ahead of the Kühne Maritime stake that falls to 20.8 percent from 28.3 percent. Other shareholdings will be TUI (13.9 percent), Signal Iduna (3.3 percent), HSH Nordbank (1.8 percent), M.M. Warburg (1.8 percent) and Hanse Merkur (1.1 percent).

CSAV, HGV and Kühne Maritime say they have agreed to pool 51 percent of the shares in the new company for future decision-making. CSAV will own 50 percent and HGV and Kühne Maritime 25 percent each.

Oscar Hasbún, CEO of CSAV commented: "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."

CSAV took delivery of the first of two new 9,300 TEU container ships last month as MV Copiapó began liner operations from Shanghai on the Asia-Gulf trades. A second vessel, MV Cautín, will begin services on December 18 linking Northern Europe with the east coast of South America.

Los Angeles service suspended

In a related move, Hapag-Lloyd says it is temporarily suspending its 'Pacific Atlantic 1' service to Los Angeles due to port congestion. More information: PA1_USWC_Situation.pdf

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