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Hapag-Lloyd AG buys into J M Baxi Ports & Logistics

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German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd AG has acquired a 35% stake in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited (JMBPL). Hapag-Lloyd AG acquired a stake from existing shareholder Bain Capital Private Equity. Additionally, Hapag-Lloyd AG signed a binding agreement with JMBPL and its promoters, the Kotak family, to subscribe to a capital increase by the company and raise Hapag-Lloyd’s shareholding to 40%, said a company statement. However, the deal size is learnt to be about $350-400 million, said sources.

J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited is a leading private terminal and inland transport service provider. The operations comprise container terminals, a multi-purpose terminal, inland container depots, container freight stations and additional logistics activities, such as rail service offerings across India. The company employs around 5,400 staff and handles a combined container volume of approximately 1.6 million TEU. J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited recently won additional concessions for operating container terminals in Nhava Sheva and Tuticorin.

Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies with a fleet of 252 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.8 million TEU. The company has around 14,500 employees and more than 400 offices in 137 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of 3.0 million TEU – including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers.

Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the Transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and Intra-America trades.

The Kotak family owns 60.8% of J M Baxi Ports & Logistics, while the remaining 39.20% is held by Bain Capital, which acquired the stake in 2021 by investing Rs 1,317 crore.

“Terminal and infrastructure investments are a crucial element of our strategic agenda and India is one of our key growth markets. Acquiring a significant share in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited will significantly boost our presence in India with a trusted local partner and it is another important step to build up our terminal and infrastructure business,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

In driving its Strategy 2023, Hapag-Lloyd has continuously expanded its involvement in the terminal sector, most recently through an agreement to acquire the terminal business of Chile-based SM SAAM. Hapag-Lloyd also has stakes in the Italy-based Spinelli Group, the JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven, the Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg, Terminal TC3 in Tangier, and Terminal 2 in Damietta, Egypt, which is currently under construction.

The closing of the transactions is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and to additional conditions customary for a transaction of this kind, said the statement. Bank of America has advised the buyer.

The JM Baxi Group was founded by JM Baxi, Jayantilal Kotak and Manilal Kotak in 1916.

J M Baxi Ports & Logistics (formerly International Cargo Terminals and Infrastructure) was set up in 1947 and started as a provider of shipping support services, mainly stevedoring. It gradually expanded to container handling, cargo consolidation, shipping agency services and ship chartering.

At present, it operates one container freight station of 90,000 TEUs at JNPT Port, rail operations with a Category-III license, a logistics park near JNPT, cold storage at Sonepat, pan-India bulk cargo operations and also carries out bulk cargo handling operations at Rozi Jetty in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

In March 2022, JM Baxi made two acquisitions for Rs 200 crore. It bought the heavy machinery moving business of Allcargo Logistics. It also agreed to buy a unit of Lift and Shift Pvt Ltd that moves heavy equipment and components to locations where large infrastructure or manufacturing projects such as petrochemical plants are set up.

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