The wedding bells are ringing very loud in Hamburg and Copenhagen. The international leading Maersk Group is going to buy the german company Hamburg Süd from the Oetker Group. This was announced by Søren Skou, ceo of Maersk Line and the Maersk Group: “Today is a new milestone in Maersk Line’s history. I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the Oetker Group to acquire Hamburg Süd, which is a very well-run and highly respected company with strong brands, dedicated employees and loyal customers. Hamburg Süd complements Maersk Line and together we can offer our customers the best of two worlds, first of all in the North – South trades.”

Despite of a very large price tag of about 5bn Dollar, which was reported as the biggest handicap for finding a new owner for Hamburg Süd in the last weeks, Maersk fulfilled their favorites role in this race. After completing the deal the Danish will have an 18.6% share of the global container shipping market. The German line has 130 vessels with a total capacity of 625,000 teu.

For Hamburg Süd and Aliança customers there will be no changes, because they will continue as separate brands and continue to serve customers through their local offices.

“Hamburg Süd and Aliança have competitive and attractive customer value propositions, which we want to preserve and protect. We wish to maintain the personal touch and engagement they offer their customers. In short, Hamburg Süd and Aliança customers will also be Hamburg Süd and Aliança customers in the future,” said Skou.

The sale of Hamburg Süd by the Oetker Group is the end of an era, August Oetker, chairman of the Advisory Board of Dr. August Oetker KG said: “Giving up our engagement in shipping after an 80 year-long ownership in Hamburg Süd was not an easy decision for my family. We are very confident, though, to have chosen the best of all possible partners.”

Justifying the deal, Oetker said: “The owners and management of Hamburg Süd must recognize that active participation in the consolidation process of the sector currently taking place would entail an even higher capital requirement. This would, in addition, make the balancing of risk within the Oetker Group business portfolio more cumbersome.”

The financial details of the deal were not published. The acquisition is subject to final agreement, due diligence and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be closed not before late 2017.