Japanese trio miss first target for ONE merger, but it's all

Time: 2017-07-05 13:39
DESPITE missing the first target of July 1 for the establishment of the new Ocean Network Express (ONE) brand, "K" Line, MOL and NYK have insisted that the integration of their container businesses is still going to plan.
In a statement, the three Japanese shipping lines said the new company had "received all necessary approvals for compliance with local competition laws in regions and countries where compliance is required".
They added "progress is being made" and further details "will be announced upon completion of all established procedures".
The missed date of July 1 had "no impact" on integration plans and the commencement date for ONE was "unchanged from April 1 2018", the statement said, according to The Loadstar of UK.
On June 21, the South African Competition Commission announced it had "prohibited", the merger of the Japanese trio, alleging that the transaction was "likely to increase the scope for coordination in the container liner shipping market, while creating a platform for coordination in the car carrier market". However, the Japanese carriers seem optimistic that they can overturn this decision on appeal. They said in the release: "In the republic of South Africa, the new company expects to complete the approval process for compliance with competition law before the service commencement date of April 1 2018."
In addition, the merger still awaits a decision from the US, after the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) decided it could not rule on the matter and referred it to the US Department of Justice.
The merger into ONE will integrate "K" Line, MOL and NYK's container businesses and global terminals, except those in Japan. The new entity will take sixth place in the global rankings league table with capacity of some 1.4 million TEU and an approximate 7 per cent market share.
From April 1 this year, all three Japanese carriers became members of THE Alliance, along with Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming.
The delay in finalising the merger is perhaps no surprise to many in the industry. One source told The Loadstar it could be "weeks, or even months," before the "I's are dotted and the T's crossed".
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