The family behind the world’s seventh-largest shipping line, Hamburg Süd, are to meet to decide on the future of the company, reported Lloyd’s List.
With the carrier struggling amid the global slump in freight rates, members of the Oetker family, owners of Hamburg Süd, are reportedly in discussions over whether to sell to the shipping line, or retain their interest in the company.
With the industry currently going through a period of consolidation; mergers, acquisitions and alliance-building activity has spiked in 2016.
Maersk could be the frontrunner to buy Hamburg Süd, should it be put up for sale, having announced its growth strategy would no longer rely on ordering new ships, but instead grow through acquisitions.
With a meeting between family members reportedly taking place on Wednesday November 30, it is understood there is a split over whether or not to retain the carrier.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting Maersk Line is lining up a bid for the world’s seventh largest containerline, Hamburg Sud.
The owners of the German line are understood to be willing to sell the line amid massive consolidation seen this year in the container shipping sector. Hamburg Sud does not belong to any existing or future container alliance.
Hamburg Süd is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages.
Hamburg Süd has a fleet of around 130 boxships totaling some 600,000 teu in its fleet which VesselsValue estimates is worth $1.4bn.
Maersk has recently said it is after acquisitions rather than ordering new ships. Its last containerline acquisition was back in 2005 when it bought P&O Nedlloyd.
Both Hapag-Lloyd and Cosco have previously been linked with buying Hamburg Süd, a line with an especially strong presence in Latin America.