RBS pulls out of Hapag-Lloyd deal
One of the banks involved in the sale of the ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd has backed out of financing the deal, according to a report Thursday in Lloyd’s List.
The Royal Bank of Scotland, one of a clutch of banks involved in the sale of Hapag-Lloyd to a consortium of Hamburg businessman — including Kuehne + Nagel Chairman Klaus-Michael K'hne — decided over Christmas to back out after the bank received a major bailout by the U.K. government that essentially nationalized it. The change in ownership of the bank allowed RBS to backtrack on the financing, according to bank officials who spoke to Lloyd’s List.
How RBS’s decision will affect the sale, which was due to go through in February, is unclear.
German banks HSH Nordbank and Hypovereinsbank, along with RBS, led the $750 million financing for the consortium. A two-thirds stake in Hapag-Lloyd (and its 29 vessels) was sold in fall for nearly $6 billion by parent company TUI to a group wanting to ensure that the liner carrier stayed in German hands.
A Reuters report Friday said TUI’s share price tumbled nearly 6 percent on the news, and that the whole deal was in danger of being scuppered. It also said TUI couldn’t comment on the report because it is not directly involved in financing the deal, while the Hamburg consortium buying Hapag-Lloyd declined comment. Hapag-Lloyd was unavailable for comment.