Hapag-Lloyd major shareholder Klaus-Michael Kühne has quashed rumours of a potential merger with rival CMA CGM, but confirmed the French carrier had been in contact.
Kühne, who along with his companies owns around 25% of Hapag-Lloyd, said a deal would not happen after Reuters reported that CMA CGM had made an exploratory approach.
Speaking to German radio station NDR, Kühne said: “It does not bother me, and there have been several attempts to get us talking.
“We all said: It does not make sense, we do not want that, so the French are probably trying to fish in the mud.”
Kühne also hit back at the reports at Hapag-Lloyd’s Annual General Meeting.
He said: “We do not want to be taken over by the French. If anything, we want to take over the French.”
Reuters reported that a non-cash merger had been proposed, but also said the approach had been rejected by Hapag-Lloyd’s major shareholders.