While it is stressed that the merger between the carriers itself is not at risk, Hapag-Lloyd and UASC have mutually agreed to extend the time allowed for the conclusion of the Business Combination Agreement (BCA) between the two carriers until the end May this year. Originally it has been expected that the transaction would be concluded by the end of March.
A statement from Hapag-Lloyd said that all regulatory clearances and relevant authority approvals, as well as all necessary banking approvals, from Hapag-Lloyd’s side, and substantially all banking approvals from UASC’s side, have been obtained and the parties are arranging the final documentation for the closing of the merger, which will create one of the world’s biggest shipping lines. The delay has been caused, it is suggested by the fact that final preparations for the conclusion of the deal were taking take more time than expected. However there has been speculation that clarification of the longer term involvement of Qatar investors is required from the Hapag-Lloyd side.