GCC bidders line up for UASC chemical subsidiary
Several potential buyers for UASC’s chemical carrier subsidiary have emerged as the Middle East shipping line seeks to finalise its merger with Hapag-Lloyd, according to a report by Reuters.
The sale of the United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC) subsidiary is key to finalising the merger between UASC and the German container shipping line.
It was reported last week that Hapag Lloyd was close to completing the 7-8 billion-euro ($7.8-9 billion) merger after UASC shareholders agreed terms to repay outstanding debt.
Sources familiar with the talks have said that several Middle East shipping lines have come forward to express interest, with all of the big petrochemical transport brands mentioned, including Bahri and Milaha (although neither have confirmed or denied the rumours).
A third UAE-based shipping line that was not named is also said to have expressed an interest in acquiring UACC.
UACC, with a fleet of 24 chemical tankers, is estimated to be worth US $200-million, but it is unclear how much the three competing shipping lines have bid.
UASC has a 45 percent stake in UACC, with the remaining shares held by various Saudi shareholders, making Bahri the firm favourite for the most organic merger.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down UASC’s extraordinary debts, which were made fully public last year as part of the merger process with Hapag-Lloyd.