German container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd has signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire all shares of the Dutch container shipping company Nile Dutch Investments B.V.

The move is expected to strengthen Hapag-Lloyd’s position in the African market.

With over 40 years of expertise, NileDutch provides container services from and to West Africa. The company is present in 85 locations across the world and has 16 own offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Singapore, China, Angola, Congo and Cameroon.

With 10 liner services, around 35,000 TEU of transport capacity and a container fleet of around 80,000 TEU, the company connects Europe, Asia and Latin America with West and South Africa.

“Africa is an important strategic growth market for Hapag-Lloyd. The acquisition of NileDutch strengthens our position in West Africa and will be an excellent addition to our existing activities on the continent,” Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, commented.

“Our combined customer base will benefit from a denser network from and to Africa as well as from a much higher frequency of sailings. We welcome the new colleagues from NileDutch and hope that together we can further develop our business in Africa in the years to come.”

“Hapag-Lloyd and NileDutch are a very good fit and I am happy that we join forces. Combining our business and expertise in West Africa with Hapag-Lloyd’s worldwide network will enable us to make the next step and further develop the Africa business,” Wim van Aalst, President of NileDutch, added.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities.

The acquisition comes after Hapag-Lloyd predicted last month a very strong earnings growth amid exceptional demand for container transports, which has spurred freight rates.

With a fleet of 234 containerships and a total transport capacity of 1.7 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies.

At the end of last year, the company announced a major, $1 billion worth order for the construction of six LNG-powered 23,500+ TEU container vessels. The investment in LNG-powered giants comes on the back of Hapag-Lloyd’s first conversion project of an LNG-ready ultra-large containership to LNG.

Source: offshore-energy