Hapag-Lloyd in the market for US$414m from equity issue to reduce leverage

GERMAN shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has launched an EUR352 million (US$414 million) fundraiser to boost its balance sheet in the wake of its UASC takeover.

The container line has always planned to raise capital following the deal and has now launched an EUR 30 per share offering.

Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive of the shipping line said: "Following the successful merger with UASC, we will use the capital increase to strengthen our capital structure and to use the proceeds to reduce the leverage of the company. This enables us to focus on enhancing our strategic and operating objectives."

Major Hapag investors CSAV Germany Container Holding, Kuehne Maritime, Qatar Holding Germany and The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are providing a backstop to the issue.

The subscription period will run from October2 to 16. Hapag-Lloyd completed the takeover of UASC in May this year, and the ocean carrier had debt of EUR 6.50 billion at the end of the first half of 2017, with total gearing of 109.5 per cent, TradeWinds of Oslo reported.

According to data from Clarksons, containership owners have raised $439.9 million from initial and secondary offerings this year, with MPC, Navios Container, Yang Ming and Costamare the successful parties. When bonds are included the total climbs past $2.1 billion, with both Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM having tapped the debt market.

Source: Schednet

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