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Hapag-Lloyd close to state loan

Hapag-Lloyd close to state loan
Hapag-Lloyd has fulfilled the criteria set to qualify for 1.2 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in state loan guarantees.

Hapag-Lloyd has fulfilled the criteria set to qualify for 1.2 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in state loan guarantees.

Auditors have found that Germany's Hapag-Lloyd [HPLG.UL] has fulfilled the criteria set to qualify for 1.2 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in state loan guarantees, a person familiar with the proceedings told.

The shipping line, owned by TUI AG (TUIGn.DE) and Albert Ballin, has suffered from the drop in world trade and a German committee is due to decide on its application for state aid on Sept. 18.

A person close to the situation told late on Thursday an assessment from auditors at PriceWaterhouseCoopers had concluded Hapag-Lloyd looked to be on track in fulfilling conditions to obtain the aid.

The company's owners have agreed to give the company a 923 million euro cash injection to boost its chances to clinch the aid package, several sources close to the owners said last week. [ID:nL3688031]

The German government and banks have also demanded the shipping line does not sell its 25.1 percent stake in the Hamburg-Altenwerder container terminal (CTA) to its shareholders, which was to be part of the cash injection, but keep it as collateral for the loans.

The company's works council and management have agreed on a savings plan which envisages cutting 120 of 1,100 jobs in Germany. Workers and managers are also taking wage cuts and short time is being extended to cut costs by a total of some 600 million euros a year.

German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee on Thursday also expressed his support for the firm.

"I support the company's application, which must be decided upon quickly," Tiefensee said in a statement.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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