Maersk ponders break-up after sacking chief Nils Andersen

Shares rise 12 per cent on news of potential shake-up and Soren Skou appointment

The MV Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the world’s biggest container ship: firm’s stock has fallen 41 per cent since Nils Andersen became chief executive at the end of 2007. Photograph:  Michael Kooren/Reuters

The MV Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the world’s biggest container ship: firm’s stock has fallen 41 per cent since Nils Andersen became chief executive at the end of 2007. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

 

One of Europe’s biggest industrial conglomerates is debating whether to split itself up after Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk fired its chief executive and launched a sweeping strategic review.

Maersk shares rose 12 per cent on news of the potential shake-up and the appointment of Soren Skou, head of container shipping unit Maersk Line, as group chief executive. He will replace Nils Andersen from Friday next week.

Michael Pram Rasmussen, Maersk chairman, said the board had an obligation to consider whether having five distinct businesses together or breaking them apart was best. Mr Skou will lead the review.

Mr Rasmussen said: “We are looking into if we have the right structure. Should we be a group as we are today, or might it be an idea to have a number of different separate businesses?”

Maersk stock has fallen 41 per cent since Mr Andersen became chief executive at the end of 2007. Maersk’s two leading divisions have faced conditions that he has described as worse than in the 2008 financial crisis. Shipping rates this year hit a record low.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016

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