The world's largest container shipping line will acquire a rival for more than $4 billion, the companies announced last week.
Industry leader Maersk Line — part of the Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk — announced plans to acquire Germany's Hamburg Süd late last year. The companies said that the cash purchase was approved Friday by the boards of both Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd parent Oetker Group.
The deal would combine the no. 1 and no. 7 ocean container shippers in a market that struggled amid slow global trade and surplus cargo capacity.
The companies would feature a combined fleet of 743 container vessels and about 3.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units — a nearly 19 percent share of global capacity. Hamburg Süd plans to maintain its own operations along with a presence in its namesake German city.
Officials said the deal would enable between $350 million and $400 million in annual savings along with more journeys and port calls and faster transit times.
"The acquisition is cementing our position as the largest and leading carrier in container shipping and it will provide great opportunities for the employees of both companies,” Maersk Line and A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Søren Skou said in a statement.
The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the year pending regulatory approval. Antitrust authorities in the U.S. and European Union approved the merger in March and April, respectively.