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Hapag Lloyd could be merged with NOL, according to a report.

 

A REPORT in a French newspaper this week that Germany’s Tui group is in talks to merge its Hapag-Lloyd subsidiary with Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines(NOL) sent pulses racing in the container shipping industry, despite the absence of any hard evidence that discussions are taking place.

 

The business daily La Tribune paper said its information came from an unidentified source close to Tui shareholders in favour of the operation, which would create the world’s fourth biggest container shipping line.

 

Hapag-Lloyd currently ranks fifth in the world with fleet capacity totalling 492,000 teu, while NOL’s liner company APL is at number eight with 395,000 teu, according to ci-online. A merger would catapult the combination into the top three.

 

La Tribune said that Tui chief executive Michael Frenzel has made several visits to Singapore in recent weeks. NOL is now headed by a compatriot and former Schenker chief executive Thomas Held. NOL has been linked to Hapag-Lloyd a number of times over the last few years with the German company seen as a possible takeover target for the Singapore line. However it would appear this has never gone beyond exploratory stages.

 

(以上摘錄自Lloyd's List, 11 Jan 2008)

 

 

TUI rejects NOL-Hapag-Lloyd merger report

 

    German transport and tourism group TUI AG denied a fresh report that it is in negotiations with Temasek Holdings about merging Hapag-Lloyd, its container shipping unit, with NOL, the Singapore state investment fundocean carrier. The company was responding to a report in the influential German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, citing unidentified industry sources, that its top executives are talking with Temasek about the purchase of a major stake in TUI. The talks also covered the possible merger of Hapag-Lloyd and NOL, which is 66 percent owned by Temasek, as part of the planned deal, according to the report. NOL, which acquired San Francisco-based American President Lines in 1997, has attempted to expand through acquisitions in recent years, making an approach for P&O Nedlloyd before the Anglo-Dutch carrier was taken over by A.P. Moller-Maersk, parent of Maersk Line.(以上摘錄自 January 21, 2008/The JOURNAL of COMMERCE ONLINE)
 

新加坡海皇東方航運(Neptune Orient Lines),就法國報章La Tribune報道(2008/01/11),稱德國赫伯羅特航運(Hapag-Lloyd)的母公司TUI集團主動與其接觸,商討赫伯羅特與海皇東方合併一事,拒絕作出回應。該份法國報章還稱,合併方案原定在TUI本月9日宣布財務營運情況時會一併公布,但目前已不是最佳時候。Hapag-Lloyd(德國貨櫃船公司) 在2007年世界貨櫃航運運量排行第五,新加坡海皇東方航運(Neptune Orient Lines)之貨櫃航運公司APL在2007年世界排行第八,若兩公司合併之後總運量將躍升世界第三。

 

    而TUI集團則在21日發出拒絕兩家公司合併的聲明,由於赫伯羅特航運是獨立經營,與TUI資產分開,在合併前必須把赫伯羅特航運歸入TUI集團資產之內,待資產價格上升。TUI集團在市場購入赫伯羅特航運已有一段時間,因外行領導內行,經營管理不善,出現嚴重虧損,搞得焦頭爛額,行政總裁因受股東非議,曾被質疑領導能力,此後,市場傳出該集團一直在尋找合適對象出售資產。海皇東方由淡馬錫集團持有66%股權,一旦合併,將成為新集團單一最大股東。


    這兩則消息的真假究竟是傳言還是合併協商破裂,就可獲得的資訊來說尚未定論,但依據過往三年來的歷史見證之下,流言傳出其真實性皆有一定的可信度。舉例來說:2005年CP Ships(
加拿大太平洋航運)傳出有三大船公司欲予以併購,其中浮上檯面的買家有台灣貨櫃龍頭公司與本次的主角Hapag-Lloyd,結果是後者得標;另一個例子則為丹麥的Maersk Sealand航運公司(現今為Maersk Line)新加坡海皇東方航運(淡馬錫集團為其主要股東)競標P & O Nedlloyd貨櫃航運公司,結果由前者獲勝。但兩相競標所勝出的公司,皆在2006年貨櫃航運黑暗年之際重摔了一跤,原因為何?!在前一篇文章有跟各位提過,除了公司文化的不同、航線的重整、運力的分配、裁撤相似與獲利不佳的航線,利用多出的艙位與調整貨載的分配等因素之外,另一項極重要的原因就是重大合併之後,所造成運費結構的波動才是殺傷力的所在。由下圖所示,2006年亞洲運往歐洲與2005年相比,雖未呈現明顯波動,但2006年亞洲運往美國與2005年相比,則明顯的滑落15%左右,可想而知所造成衝擊非同小可,因而造成了2006年貨櫃航運流血成災的一年。

    回顧2004、2005年為貨櫃航運黃金年,但在2005年的兩大併購案子後卻造成了2006年的黯淡,雖有2007年重現的曙光,但若今年此併購案成立,此震撼彈雖非百分百會在2009年的貨櫃航運景氣所引爆,但所引起的波浪卻非同小可。或許此次喊卡的原因來自於:近半年來美歐所引發的金融市場震盪,造成美國經濟趨緩甚至可能衰退,以及歐洲經濟亦會趨緩的情勢之餘,加上來自兩大經濟體的消費力量減弱,貨櫃航運市場所受到的衝擊亦是可想而見。整個貨櫃航運處於來年景氣不明之下,保守以對應是較好的方案,雖說新加坡淡馬錫控股以它的投資眼光獨到著名,但在此大環境影響之下,雙方應皆採取保守策略以待,才是應付往後前景發展的方針所在。

 

    以業著來說,最不想見到因船公司合併後所產生的運費結構往下發展,進而影響相關行業,但受害最大的還是船公司本身。雖說羊毛出在羊身上,但仍無法將所有的費用轉嫁到貨主或託運人身上,到最後船公司依舊要自行吸收多出的成本。另外倒楣的就是船公司雇員,公司不賺錢年終沒了加薪沒了就已經粉口憐了,搞不好來個跟Maersk Line一樣裁掉10%以上的員工,真慘!!便當錢都省起來了還要擔心被裁員呼!天ㄚ~>_<~

 

 

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