Hapag-Lloyd is ruling out an initial public offering in the next 12 to 15 months, according to the German ocean carrier’s majority shareholder.
“As long as we don’t have clarity about the final ownership structure, an IPO is not going to come. I don’t see it in the next 12-15 months,” Karl Gernandt, CEO of Kuehne Holding, told the Financial Times. Kuehne is member of the Albert Ballin consortium that controls 61.6 percent of container ship operator.
German tourism group TUI holds the remaining 38 percent stake in Hapag-Lloyd, which it wants eventually to divest. It sold an 11.3 percent stake to the Albert Ballin investors in May.
Gernandt, chairman of Kuehne+Nagel, the Swiss global logistics group, said talks with Oman and Chinese investors about acquiring TUI’s remaining stake have fallen through. But there have been talks with several US private equity companies.
“Our discussions with potential investors are very difficult as there have been different interests … TUI wants to sell and some investors presented their ideas, but unfortunately it was not possible to realize a deal.”
TUI likely will exit Hapag-Lloyd through a private deal rather than an IPO, Gernandt said. TUI says it has three options for its stake: a trade sale, share floatation or exercising a put option to sell it to the Albert Ballin consortium in January 2012.
Hapag-Lloyd scrapped plans for an initial public offering in 2004, saying it coudn't get "fair value" for Germany's biggest container shipping line.
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