The Chilean container shipping company CSAV has reported that 84.5 percent of its shareholders approved a merger with Germany's Hapag-Lloyd on Friday during a special shareholders' meeting in Valparaíso. In January, the companies announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding to combine, subject to a due diligence currently underway.
CSAV's Chief Executive Officer Oscar Hasbún said less than 1 percent of shareholders voted against the plan.
"We expect that on April 20, we will be able to confirm that the appraisal right of 5 percent or more of the shares was not exercised and that the negotiations with Hapag-Lloyd can go ahead," Hasbún said.
In a press release, CSAV said the "decision becomes final in 30 days, i.e. April 20, during which time dissident shareholders have the right to withdraw. The company defined that the appraisal right should be less than 5 percent of the company’s total shares in order for the transaction with the German company to be completed."
Appraisal right gives shareholders the right to be bought out.
Shareholders also approved a plan to raise $200 million through the sale of 4.85 billion shares of stock to complete funding of seven 9,300-TEU container ships being built by Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries. The ships will be delivered later this year and allow the company to reduce fuel consumption.
According to a presentation
made in February, CSAV would have a 30-percent stake in Hapag-Lloyd, making it the largest shareholder in the Hamburg-based company. CSAV would still maintain an arm separate from Hapag-Lloyd that would continue to operate car carriers and other businesses.
The combined companies would become the fourth-largest container shipping company in the world behind Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, with a fleet of container ships with a capacity of 1 million TEUs. They will have a strong position in the Latin America trade, with a 17-percent share of the Europe-Latin America trade and a 13-percent share of the Asia-Latin America trade.
Together, their combined 2012 volumes would have been 7.2 million TEUs with 36 percent to and from Latin America; 21 percent in the Asia-Europe trade; 17 percent in the transpacific; 15 percent in the transatlantic; 10 percent in the intra-Asia and Australasia markets; and 1 percent in Africa and other trades.