Sunday, October 12, 2008

NOL Drops Out of Race To Buy Hapag-Lloyd

image SINGAPORE, Oct 11, 2008 (AFP) - Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has dropped out of the race to buy German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd, NOL said.

NOL, which is 66 percent owned by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, said in a statement late Friday "it is no longer engaged in the bidding process for the sale" of Hapag-Lloyd.

The Singapore firm's binding offer submitted on September 26 has lapsed, NOL said. Hapag-Lloyd is the container shipping unit of German leisure and shipping group TUI.

"NOL will now put all its energy into managing through the current container shipping downcycle and providing our customers with the service they have come to expect of our organisation," NOL group president and chief executive Ron Widdows said in the statement.

NOL had not given details on the value of its bid but said that a successful acquisition would have created the world's third biggest container carrier.

"We submitted a bid that we believed fully valued Hapag-Lloyd and which addressed the challenging market conditions facing the container shipping industry," Widdows said.

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