Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Hapag Lloyd by Kühne, HGV and TUI
European Commission - IP/09/228 06/02/2009
Brussels, 6th February 2009
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over Hapag Lloyd AG, a German shipping company with worldwide activities, by Kühne Holding AG, Hamburger Gesellschaft für Vermögens- und Beteiligungsmanagement mbH (HGV) and TUI AG, all of Germany. Hapag Lloyd is currently fully owned by TUI. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Kühne is the parent company of a group of companies that are active in the logistics business with its main activities in sea freight forwarding, air freight forwarding and contract logistics.
HGV is the holding company for the business activities of the City of Hamburg. As such, HGV has subsidiaries that are active inter alia in the area of container terminal services in Northern Europe and Ukraine and terminal logistics services.
TUI's core businesses are tourism and shipping. In shipping, TUI Group provides container liner shipping services through Hapag Lloyd.
The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlaps of the activities of the parties are very limited. Hapag Lloyd is not active in the same markets as Kühne or HGV, apart from a container joint venture terminal in the port of Hamburg, where Hapag Lloyd is the co-controlling minority shareholder with HGV as the majority shareholder. Both Kühne and HGV provide inland transportation services, but in view of their low market shares the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in any competition concerns in this market.
The proposed transaction would give rise to vertical links since Kühne is active in sea freight forwarding and sea freight forwarders are among the main customers of container liner shipping services. HGV and Kühne are also active in inland transportation, which is vertically related to container liner shipping services. However, in view of the parties’ limited market power in the markets concerned the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not result in any appreciable risk of restricting access to customers or supplies.
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