The world’s biggest shipping company, AP Moeller-Maersk of Denmark, has acquired Hong Kong-based LF Logistics in a deal worth 3.6 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion) — one of the Danish group’s biggest acquisitions ever.
“It will allow us to go deep into Asia, which is the fastest-growing market,” Vincent Clerc, Maersk’s chief executive of ocean and logistics, told The Associated Press. “With this move, we will boost our warehousing and distribution offering.”
Maersk said LF Logistics operates an extensive Asia-Pacific network and is a strong base for it to expand in the region and globally. With the acquisition, the company will add 223 warehouses, bringing its total number to 549 globally.
As part of the agreement, Maersk will enter a strategic partnership to develop logistics solutions with Li & Fung, which holds a stake of more than 78% in LF Logistics. The rest is held by Temasek Holdings, a Singapore sovereign wealth fund. Maersk said it will acquire 100% of the shares.
Spencer Fung, group executive chairman of Li & Fung, said the company’s “divestment of LF Logistics will further simplify our business to focus on our core trading and supply chain digitalisation capabilities, which have seen a strong rebound back to pre-Covid levels.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. It is Maersk’s second largest, following a 2016 deal to buy German container shipping company Hamburg Sud.
The Copenhagen-based group operates in 130 countries and employs about 95,000 people.