Denmark-based Maersk Line has secured approval from its board members to purchase German container shipping line Hamburg Süd for €3.7bn.
The deal has also been approved by the board of Hamburg Süd's parent company Oetker Group, and was followed by a sale and purchase agreement signed between the two parties in March.
The proposed cash and debt-free deal is still pending regulatory approval, and is expected to be closed by the end of the year.
Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou said: “Today, we have taken a decisive step towards the shared future of Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd. Our due diligence confirmed that Hamburg Süd is a well-run company with strong and highly respected brands.
“We have confirmed the anticipated synergies and we are convinced that our plan to maximize customer retention is the right path forward. I have no doubt that together we can develop new competitive products to the benefit of our customers and exploit operational synergies.
“The acquisition is cementing our position as the largest and leading carrier in container shipping, and it will provide great opportunities for the employees of both companies.”
The combined entity will be able to realise operational synergies of $350m-$400m annually over the first couple of years once the arrangement is finalised.
In addition, Hamburg Süd will maintain its own structure hereunder its separate brands.
Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a combined total container capacity of around 3.9 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and an 18.7% global capacity share.
The combined fleet will comprise of 743 container vessels and intends to offer increased number of weekly sailings, faster transit times, more port calls, and other benefits..