Denmark’s Maersk To Split Up Transport, Energy Divisions

Rocked by low freight and oil prices, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk AS will split itself up and focus on transport and logistics while seeking a way out of energy in a keenly anticipated revamp aimed at reviving its fortunes. The 112-year-old conglomerate will focus on its core businesses, comprising Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Damco, Svitzer and Maersk Container Industry, while seeking “solutions” for its smaller energy operations. Investors gave the news a cautious welcome, with Maersk shares trading slightly higher on Sept. 22. But some said the US$30 billion company had not gone far enough. “It might be one of the most pain-free solutions relative to other scenarios, but they could have gone even further,” Nykredit analyst Ricky Rasmussen said on Sept. 22. The weak market has hit the big lines which have invested heavily in “mega-ships”, largely to operate the main Asia to Europe trade route. Industry sources have questioned whether there is enough work for the biggest container vessels on the high seas at the moment, putting more pressure on profits.

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