Maersk to buy Hanjin?

Maersk Line could be in the running to buy Hanjin Shipping Line, that collapsed in August. As a result the troubled shipping line’s share price has surged.

Maersk is the biggest single shipping company in the world, and of all companies it has the capacity to rescue the troubled Korean container line. With other less financially healthy container lines tied up in alliances, Hanjin is a potential takeover target.

The Chairman of Maersk Michael Pram Rasmussen said last week that the Maersk container shipping operation will now pursue takeovers rather than flooding the market with new vessels. He did not comment on wither Hanjin was a target. Hanjin also declined to comment on this possibility as well.

A lot of container ships were built in the last few years in the expectation of an increased need of greater global capacity, and this never came. As a result freight rates have slumped, with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ships mothballed. Container lines have merged while others, Maersk included, forming vessel sharing alliances on certain routes.

In response to the rumours of the potential rescue of Hanjin, its share price surged by 23% on the Seoul stock market. Rumours are rife in stock markets all over the world in every sector they trade in – until the ink is dry on the contracts, nothing is certain just yet. While these rumours abound of Maersk taking over the whole line, other Korean companies are rumoured to be picking over its ships with a view to buying the newest in the fleet.

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