SHIPPING and logistics global player Maersk has officially withdrawn from the bidding race to buy DB Schenker, a transport service and division of German company Deutsche Bahn AG.

Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerk confirmed the move in a statement, citing challenges of integration as a reason for the withdrawal.

“Over the past months, Maersk has conducted a review of the DB Schenker business and, during the past few weeks, there has been an opportunity to participate in an in-depth due diligence. Following this review, Maersk has decided to withdraw from the process” he said.

“The in-dept review identified areas of challenges from an integration perspective and, ultimately, we concluded that acquiring DB Schenker would not be the right thing to do for our business at this time.”

It was believed the Danish shipping line had offered approximately 15 billion euros to purchase the rail operator.

Maersk’s withdrawal now means only three companies remain in the final round of the sale process, in DSV, Bahri, and CVC Capital Partners in consortium with ADIA and GIC.

Some close to the bidding process credit DB Schenker’s IT system as a contributing factor for Maersk’s withdrawal, stating its need for investment posed a challenge.

More generally it has been suggested that a merger between the two was a huge balance between opportunity and risk, despite Mr Clerc maintaining Maersk’s thoughts of DB Schenker as an “interesting company”.

Maersk’s shares were raised as much as 7 percent in reaction to the news of the withdrawal, with DSV’s shares also increasing over 6 percent.

Mr Clerc highlighted his company’s intention to continue its growth through future acquisitions, “Our strategic focus remains unchanged; acquisitions continue to be an important lever to scale our logistics business. We are committed to continue to grow in Europe, including Germany, and we see our organic growth in logistics gaining momentum”.

Deutsche Bahn announced in December 2023 that DB Schenker was officially up for sale, as the former looks to reduce its debts.

A spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn commented following Maersk’s withdrawal, “We are currently in intensive discussions with the various parties interested in DB Schenker”.