German box carrier Hapag-Lloyd announced that its merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) will be postponed by two months, but assured that the transaction is ongoing and that the April launch of THE Alliance, of which it is a member, won’t be affected.
In a statement, German box carrier Hapag-Lloyd said it has agreed with Dubai-based UASC to shift the long-stop date under the business combination agreement until May 31, 2017 as “final preparations for the closing take more time than expected.”
The merger companies had originally envisaged to close the transaction by March 31, 2017, but now expect the closing to take place in the weeks thereafter.
“All merger clearances and authority approvals as well as all necessary banking approvals from Hapag-Lloyd AG’s side and substantially all banking approvals from UASC’s side have been obtained and the merger parties are arranging the final documentation for a closing of the business combination,” a joint statement said.
“The final preparations for the closing take more time than expected. The transaction itself is not at any risk,” it added.
“Irrespective of the actual closing date THE Alliance will start its operation as of 1 April 2017 including all vessels as planned. The first time consolidation of UASC into Hapag-Lloyd will take place as of closing.”
Once completed, the Hapag-Lloyd-UASC merger will establish the world’s fifth largest carrier, having a fleet of 237 vessels and a total capacity of around 1.6 million twenty-foot-equivalent units.
Aside from Hapag-Lloyd, other members of THE Alliance are Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine, and the Japanese carriers Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, and NYK Line, which are merging.