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K + N chief sees role for NOL if Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sud merge

Ocean Way International Limited >>> News  2013─ŕ3ď┬13╚Ň
KUEHNE + NAGEL chairman and majority owner (57.6 per cent) Klaus-Michael Kuehne, who is also the biggest shareholder in Hapag-Lloyd (28 per cent), hopes to involve Singapore NOL if Hapag-Lloyd-Hamburg Sud merger plans go ahead.
Singaporeí»s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), with its container shipping arm of APL, is the most desirable partner, he said. NOL originally expressed an interest in purchasing Hapag-Lloyd in 2008, before withdrawing as market conditions deteriorated.
Said Mr Kuehne: "My dream would be to add another shipping company from the Far East to Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sud.. I think NOL is very suitable."
The logistics entrepreneur, with a personal wealth of US$5.9 billion by 2007 (Forbes magazine), revealed that he will push for an initial public offering within two or three years, even if that derails merger talks between the two German carriers, reports Londoní»s Containerisation International.
It is believed that Hamburg Sudí»s owners August Oetker and his family are against any joint venture or to go public, and the report warned that continued disagreement may be a deal breaker.
"That could happen, but I do not wish it to," Mr Kuhne told Die Welt. "I favour a partnership with Oetker, not a takeover by Oetker."
A merged Hapag-Lloyd/Hamburg Sud would become the fourth largest container shipping line globally.
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