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Showing posts from March 22, 2014

U.S.: Albertsons-Safeway merger in the spotlight

March 21st, 2014

Mergers and acquisitions are continuing to shake up the grocery retailer rankings in the U.S. as mid-range operators rapidly consolidate in a bid to survive in a highly competitive market.

The recently announced takeover of Safeway Inc (NYSE: SWY) by Albertsons’ parent company Cerberus marks yet another example of how mid-range players are finding it more and more difficult to compete with the growth of value-oriented retailers – or hard discounters – and the increasingly popular specialty and premium chains.

Before making its latest US$9.4 billion move for Safeway, last year New York-based investment firm Cerberus Capital Management bought the remaining Albertsons stores it did not already own, as well as four other retail chains from SuperValu – Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market. In January, The Kroger co (NYSE: KR), which owns the Fry’s Food Stores, also acquired regional chain Harris Teeter.

“In general the U.S. grocery market is undergoing massive consolidatio…

CSAV Shareholders Approve Hapag-Lloyd Tie-Up


CSAV’s Headquarters in Santiago, via Flickr

SANTIAGO, March 21 (Reuters) – Shareholders of Chilean shipper Compania SudAmericana de Vapores on Friday approved an agreement that combines its container-shipping operations with those of Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, though dissident stakeholders could still kill the deal in the next month.

Vapores has agreed to take a 30 percent stake in Hapag-Lloyd, making it the single largest shareholder in the German firm and creating the world’s fourth-largest container-shipping company.

Nearly 85 percent of Vapores’ shareholders voted to approve the tie-up.

However, according to the terms of the deal, if more than 5 percent of Vapores’ total shareholders exercise withdrawal rights within the next 30 days, the deal will be annulled.

Fewer than 1 percent voted against the transaction, said Vapores Chief Executive Oscar Hasbun.

“We hope that on April 20 we can confirm that fewer than 5 percent of withdrawal rights were exercised and as …

Maersk-Rickmers Announces Breakup


The U.S.-flagged joint venture known as Maersk-Rickmers quietly announced this week that its services have been discontinued.

The JV, formally known as Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier, was formed in September 2011 by Maersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie (Americas) and offered heavy-lift breakbulk and project cargo shipping using two newly-built multi-purpose ships, Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas.

At the time of establishment, the 19,000 DWT vessels, each with a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons, provided twice the capacity of any U.S. flag multipurpose vessels in operation.

In a statement posted to the Maersk-Rickmer’s website, a message only said that both companies have mutually agreed to discontinue their joint venture. All additional pages on their site have been taken down.

Neither MLL or Rickmers-Linie have addressed the break up on their websites, and no word yet on what’s going to happen with the two vessels.…