Germany's Hapag-Lloyd in merger talks with Chilean CSAV
German group Hapag-Lloyd said on Thursday it was holding talks with Chilean company CSAV on a possible merger, in a move that would create the world's fourth-biggest container shipping firm.
The German company said in a brief statement that it was currently in discussions with CSAV to see "if a possible business combination or any other form of association would be of mutual interest".
It said: "To date, these discussions have not resulted in any binding or non-binding agreement between the parties."
CSAV confirmed the talks in a separate statement.
Hapag-Lloyd, formerly a subsidiary of German tourism giant TUI, is currently ranked the sixth-biggest container shipping company in the world, while CSAV is at number 20.
If the two were to merge, they would create a potential rival to France's CMA-CGM, which is the sector's third-biggest company.
Hapag-Lloyd, which is still 22-percent owned by TUI, has already made several moves to try to shore up its future, including by seeking an alliance with its rival Hamburg Sued, but those talks broke off in March.
Hapag-Lloyd operates about 150 container ships and employs 7,000 people, while CSAV had just over 4,200 employees as of 2012.
© 2013 AFP