German carrier Hapag-Lloyd will carry out a capital increase, agreed upon as part of its merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), with the gross proceeds expected to reach EUR 352 million (USD 414 million).
The company said that the expected gross issue proceeds from the capital increase would primarily be used for the repayment of debt as well as general corporate purposes.
“Following the successful merger with UASC, we will use the capital increase to strengthen our capital structure and to use the proceeds to reduce the leverage of the company. This enables us to focus on enhancing our strategic and operating objectives,” Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, said.
Following the the official merger of the two companies in May 2017, the shareholders approved new authorised share capital for a capital increase.
The capital increase is backstopped by the primary shareholders CSAV Germany Container Holding GmbH, Kuehne Maritime GmbH, Qatar Holding Germany GmbH and The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a total of EUR 352 million.
They have committed to exercise their subscription rights and to acquire new shares that are not acquired by other shareholders.
The company’s share capital of EUR 164,042,940.00 will increase by EUR 11,717,353.00 to EUR 175,760,293.00 by issuing 11,717,353 new no-par shares in exchange for cash while maintaining the shareholders’ subscription rights. The new shares became eligible for dividends on January 1, 2017 and shall be offered to all shareholders at a subscription price of EUR 30.00 and a ratio of 14:1 per share.
The subscription period for the shareholders is expected to start on 2 October 2017 and end on 16 October 2017.
Separately, Hapag-Lloyd will finalize its comprehensive newbuild programme by taking delivery of the 15,000 TEU containership Al Jmeliyah at the shipyard of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) in South Korea on September 28.
Classed as an ultra-large container vessel (ULCV), the boxship giant is scheduled to start operating this weekend on the FE4 service of THE Alliance between Asia and Northern Europe, just like its predecessor, the Afif, which was delivered in July.
The 368-metre-long Al Jmeliyah, which features 153,148 tonnes, is the last in a series of 17 newbuilds contracted to HSHI by UASC in the summer of 2013. The series comprised eleven 15,000 TEU and six 19,900 TEU ships, the first of which was delivered in 2015.
Following the merger with Hapag-Lloyd at the end of May this year, these units became a part of the Hapag-Lloyd fleet, which currently consists of 219 ships, making Hapag-Lloyd the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world.