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Maersk Eyes Land-Based Acquisitions

World’s largest shipping company Maersk is reportedly targeting acquisitions on land to bolster its logistics operations as part of the group’s transformation from a conglomerate to an integrated global container logistics company.

* Mor Prosperity; one of the two newly acquired vessels by Morlap Shipping Company.

“The future will be very much about scaling the land side of the equation.  We for sure have to do some acquisitions in the logistics space, primarily to gain capability and scale,” Søren Skou, Maersk’s Chief Executive Officer, is quoted by the Financial Times as saying.

As reported, potential acquisition candidates are likely to include trucks, warehouses and other important segments of the supply chain management, but the company would refrain from making multi-billion deals and go after bolt-on acquisitions.

The key reason behind taking a disciplined investment approach is in line with Maersk’s desire to reduce its debt at a time when operating costs, led by high bunker prices, exert high pressure on the company’s earnings.

The remaking of Maersk Group is expected to last between three to five years. For the transformation to be completed, Maersk is yet to finalize the separation of its energy business, as structural solutions are still being sought for Maersk Supply Service.

Namely, in November 2018, Vincent Clerc, Maersk’s Executive Vice President, said the group would not finalize the sale of its Maersk Supply Service business, which was expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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As part of its energy business separation drive, earlier this year Maersk announced its spin off of Maersk Drilling as a standalone company on Nasdaq Copenhagen in 2019.

Furthermore, Maersk is in the middle of its integration process of the German liner company Hamburg Süd, which was acquired in November 2017.

Danish shipping major said that since the integration is progressing faster than planned the company expects synergies from the merger to reach at least USD 500 million by 2019.

World Maritime News Staff

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