Alphaliner: Maersk Will Retain Lead Despite Spending Cuts

Alphaliner: Maersk Will Retain Lead Despite Spending Cuts

Maersk Line will remain the world’s biggest ocean carrier for the next three years even as its parent A.P. Moller-Maersk scales back investment in container shipping, according to industry analyst Alphaliner.

Nils Andersen, chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk, last month said the company would shift investment from Maersk Line to its more profitable and stable port, offshore oil production and drilling rig operations.

This strategy switch will not have any significant impact on Maersk’s market share through 2015 as it has the largest committed order book among all the main ocean carriers, Alphaliner said.

The Danish carrier, which has a 16 percent global market share, plans to invest $6 billion to $8 billion over the next five years, including an order for 20 18,000 20-foot-equivalent unit vessels scheduled for delivery in 2013-2015.

“The planned new capacity additions will provide Maersk with sufficient capacity to grow in line with the market and retain its position as the world’s leading liner shipping company,” Alphaliner said.

Maersk’s planned investment of $8 billion is equivalent to the total market value of the world’s third-largest carrier CMA CGM, which recently sold a combined stake of 10 percent for $250 million.

This implies a valuation of $2.5 billion for the French carrier’s equity plus net debt of $5 billion, for a total enterprise value of $7.5 billion.

Maersk has the largest order book, with new building commitments of 449,000 TEUs of owned vessels and 47,000 TEUs of long-term chartered tonnage.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.