PREUSSAG GROUP PLANS TO SELL 50% OF HAPAG-LLOYD
Preussag AG, the German conglomerate that owns Hapag-Lloyd, said that it plans to sell 50 percent of the shares of its transport and logistics subsidiary.
The sale is designed partly to finance the '1.8 billion ($2.7 billion) acquisition of the British travel company Thomson Travel by Preussag.
“Part of the financing package involves our plan to reduce our current stake of 99.6 percent in Hapag-Lloyd to 50.1 percent by placing the shares in question on the stock market,” said Michael Frenzel, chairman of Preussag. “With this new shareholder structure, Hapag-Lloyd will continue on its growth course as the Preussag group’s logistics service company,” he added.
Preussag said that it aimed to sell shares in Hapag-Lloyd soon, but did not mention a target date.
The German group denied that it planned to sell off all of Hapag-Lloyd eventually. “Our strategy is to keep the majority (of the shares) and to float the rest,” a spokesman for Preussag told American Shipper.
Preussag confirmed that it was particularly interested in Hapag-Lloyd’s tourism activities when it acquired the company in September 1997 for about DM2.8 billion ($1.6 billion). However, a Preussag spokesman said that Hapag-Lloyd’s container shipping business remains “a very interesting part” of the group.
Following the purchase of the company, Preussag has restructured Hapag-Lloyd by absorbing its tourism division into another part of the group and transferring various logistics activities to Hapag-Lloyd.