Swiss shipping firm Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has secured permission from the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) to acquire a minority stake in Italian shipping company Ignazio Messina.

The antitrust regulator has announced that the deal will not raise competition concerns.

The agreement was initially announced in June. According to the contract, MSC subsidiary Marinvest will purchase a 49% stake in Ignazio Messina.

The company will also acquire a 52% stake in a new firm RoRo Italia that will manage four of Messina’s roll-on / roll-off container (ConRo) ships. The vessels are named Jolly Diamante, Jolly Perla, Jolly Titanio and Jolly Cobalto.

Ignazio Messina offers regular services from the Mediterranean to the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Founded in 1921, Messina operates specialised ConRo vessels.

Since 1970 MSC has been providing services to the shipping and logistics sectors in 155 countries. The company operates a fleet of 520 vessels and has over 70,000 employees.

Earlier this month, MSC awarded a contract to South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to build five ultra-large box ships.

The vessels will have a capacity of approximately 23,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and are expected to be delivered by 2021.

In May, MSC raised its interest in container terminal operator Terminal Investment to 60%.

In November 2018, MSC and four other container shipping firms, including AP Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express, agreed to form an association to promote digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability in the sector.