Hapag-Lloyd’s planned initial public offering is unlikely to happen until 2014, one of the container line’s largest shareholders told a German newspaper.
“In the short-term, there will be no flotation because the performance of container shipping firms in general is not too good,” Klaus Michael Kuehne told the German business paper Handelsblatt.
Kuehne, who also controls Swiss logistics group Kuehne + Nagel, owns just over 28 percent of Hapag-Lloyd. The city of Hamburg holds close to 37 percent.
A further 22 percent is held by German tourism group TUI AG , which controls Europe's largest tour operator, TUI Travel. TUI is looking to sell its stake in Hapag-Lloyd, either via a share offer or a direct sale.
Kuehne said it would make sense to merge Hapag-Lloyd with German carrier Hamburg Sud, but said Hamburg Sud's owner, the Oetker Group, is not open to mergers.
He said Hapag-Lloyd is talking with other carriers and that Singapore’s NOL or other Asian companies would be compatible but would want a majority stake, something he is not prepared to give up.