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Hapag-Lloyd sells 25% of its stake

Hapag-Lloyd sells 25% of its stake
Hapag-Lloyd has agreed to sell its 25.1% stake in Hamburg?s Container-Terminal Altenwerder for ?315m ($446.3m) as part of a rescue package agreed with key shareholders.

Hapag-Lloyd has agreed to sell its 25.1% stake in Hamburg"s Container-Terminal Altenwerder for ?315m ($446.3m) as part of a rescue package agreed with key shareholders.

Hapag-Lloyd has agreed to sell its 25.1% stake in Hamburg"s Container-Terminal Altenwerder for ?315m ($446.3m) as part of a rescue package agreed with key shareholders tonight.

The struggling German container line hopes to buy back its CTA holding once economic conditions recover.

The company is seeking ?750m from its shareholders, of which ?300m is required immediately. That money must be in place before Hapag-Lloyd can approach Berlin for a further ?1bn.

The state-of-the-art Altenwerder facility is one of Hapag-Lloyd"s last assets, but the line had little choice but to offer it to shareholders in exchange for urgently-needed cash.

With some banks reported to have withdrawn support for the ?750m injection from shareholders amid concerns about the plight of the industry, Hapag-Lloyd reluctantly agreed to sell its CTA interest.

A company set up by the Albert Ballin consortium and Tui will buy the CTA shareholding.

Hapag-Lloyd is jointly owned by tourism group Tui, with a 43.3% stake, and the Hamburg-based Albert Ballin consortium, which includes Klaus-Michael Kühne and the city state of Hamburg, with 56.7%.

The CTA deal followed two days of meetings.

Tui will contribute ?215m towards financing the deal, while the city of Hamburg said it would guarantee that ?25m would be returned to Tui by arch 2011 for the sum that exceeds its proportional shareholding.

Shareholders have agreed to reach a decision over the next few weeks regarding the line"s longer term capital and financing requirement before going to the government for funding guarantees.

Tui said in a statement that it was satisfied about the future viability of Hapag-Lloyd on the basis of interim opinion prepared by management consultants Roland Berger.

?The restructuring and cost reduction measures which have been initiated and in some cases already implemented by the Hapag-Lloyd management are beginning to take effect,? the shareholder said.

?Tui is convinced that following execution of the announced capital measures, the shipping company will emerge stronger from the crisis and that it will be possible over the medium-term to realise the substantial value that are involved in this stakeholding.?

Measures that Hapag-Lloyd is taking to cut cost include requests for reduced charter rates for vessels on long-term hire, in line with recent concessions granted to Chilean line CSAV.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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