A.P. MOLLER EXPLORES MERGER OF LISTED ARMS
A.P. Moller, the Danish shipping and industrial group, is considering a merger of its main stock market-listed arms — “Aktieselskabet Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg” and “Dampskibsselskabet af 1912 Aktieselskab.”
In a complex group ownership structure, Aktieselskabet Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg (“Svendborg”) and Dampskibsselskabet af 1912 Aktieselskab (“1912”) are the nucleus of the gigantic A.P. Moller group. Each of the two listed companies owns 50 percent of the group’s two main operating companies, called “Tankers and Liners in Partnership” and “Oil and Gas in Partnership.”
M'rsk Mc-Kinney M'ller, the son of the A.P. Moller group’s founder, is the chairman of both “Svendborg” and “1912.”
A.P. Moller said that the boards of Svendborg and 1912 have decided to investigate the possibilities of merging the two companies, with Svendborg likely to be the single continuing company.
“The basis for the decision is that the historic reasons for the establishment of the two separate companies, including their separate activities, have changed over the years and no longer exist,” the Danish group said.
A.P. Moller intends to suggest the merger for approval at either the annual general meetings of the companies in April 2003 or at extraordinary general meetings during 2003. This would be subject to a positive conclusion from the investigation on the possibility of the merger.
The two A.P. Moller listed companies are engaged in global activities in a large number of jurisdictions. The Danish group said that this makes it necessary to investigate the consequences of a merger for a large number of situations, which will imply that a great number of persons will be made aware of the potential merger.
If confirmed, the restructuring is expected to have a major stock market impact. A.P. Moller, with revenues estimated at $10 billion a year, is the largest industrial group in Denmark. The group’s shipping activities, including those of mega-carrier Maersk Sealand, rank among the largest in the world shipping industry.