UPDATE 2-Hapag-Lloyd, Vapores to win conditional EU approval for deal-sources
* Clearance conditional on elimination of some routes
* Creates world's fourth-largest container shipper
* More consolidation could follow (Adds shipping industry source, details)
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Hapag-Lloyd and Compania SudAmericana de Vapores will win conditional European Union approval for their merger that will create the world's fourth-largest container shipping company, two people familiar with the matter said.
The tie-up is important for the shipping industry where consolidation could help it to overcome the worst slump on record. And if regulators take a soft line on any concessions required to allow the deal to proceed, this could spur more mergers in the industry.
EU approval hinges on the elimination of some overlapping routes between the consortia in which the companies are members. This would allay concerns that the deal could reduce competition, said the people who declined to be named because the EU decision is not yet public.
"It doesn't mean business would have to be given up," one of the people said.
Hapag-Lloyd is a member of the G6 alliance whose other members include APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line and which operates on Asia-Europe and Mediterranean trade routes. Continuación...