Container companies MCI and CIMC abandon merger following U.S. probe

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Container companies MCI and CIMC abandon merger following U.S. probe

China International Marine Containers Group (CIMC) has abandoned its intended acquisition of Maersk Container Industry (MCI) following a Justice Department antitrust investigation. 

The proposed transaction would have combined two of the world’s four suppliers of insulated container boxes and refrigerated shipping containers.

It would also have consolidated control of over 90% of insulated container box and refrigerated shipping container production worldwide in Chinese state-owned or state-controlled entities, the Justice Department said.

The intended merger was announced in September last year,

“American consumers depend on the global cold supply chain for many of our everyday essentials,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. 

“CIMC’s acquisition of MCI threatened to harm this critical aspect of our economy leading to higher prices, lower quality, and less resiliency in global supply chains. It would have cemented CIMC’s dominant position in an already consolidated industry and eliminated MCI as an innovative, independent competitor.

The deal also would have substantially increased the risk of coordination among the remaining suppliers in the marketplace, most of whom would have been aligned through common ownership and related alliances.”

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the German Bundeskartellamt cooperated during the course of their respective investigations.

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