Estimated $1 billion deal accelerates shipping line’s movement into port and logistics operations
German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd AG is stepping up its push into inland logistics with the acquisition of the shipping terminal and logistics businesses of Chile’s Sociedad Matriz SA AM SA for around $1 billion.
Under the agreement unveiled Tuesday, the German shipping company will acquire SAAM Ports SA and SAAM Logistics SA, as well as a real-estate portfolio from Sociedad Matriz. The ports business comprises terminals in Chile, as well as other countries in South and Central America and in Florida.
The logistics business is concentrated at five ports in Chile, Hapag-Lloyd said.
The acquisition follows Hapag-Lloyd’s purchase last month of a 49% stake in Italian terminal operator Spinelli Group and an investment a year ago in Germany’s JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven, which operates port and rail facilities.
The Sociedad Matriz deal is in line with Hapag Lloyd’s strategy to expand involvement in the terminal sector, the shipping line said.
“The purchase agreement that has today been signed will further strengthen Hapag-Lloyd’s business while building up a robust and attractive container terminal portfolio,” the company said.
The expansion follows record profit at Hapag-Lloyd and other shipping lines over the past two years, as strong demand and tight capacity during the pandemic sent freight rates skyrocketing and expanded the carriers’ cash holdings.
Hamburg-based Hapag-Lloyd’s overall profit nearly tripled in the first half of 2022 to about $9.5 billion and revenue jumped about 80% to $18.6 billion. The carrier reported about $10 billion in cash on its balance sheet for the period ending June 30, and is forecasting annual operating profit of between $17.5 billion and $19.5 billion this year.
Hapag-Lloyd’s investments follow bigger moves into inland logistics by container shipping rivals including A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, CMA CGM SA and Mediterranean Shipping Co., which have made major acquisitions in the logistics sector in the past two years.
The Chilean companies made consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around $115 million in 2021, Hapag-Lloyd said. Sociedad Matriz belongs to Quinenco SA, which indirectly holds a stake of 30% in Hapag-Lloyd, the company said.
The SAAM Ports business counts 10 container terminals at ports in six countries, including the Florida International Terminal at Port Everglades in Florida.
The transaction is subject to conditions including antitrust approvals, Hapag-Lloyd said.