P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Limited was an Anglo-Dutch worldwide ocean-going container shipping line, with dual headquarters in London and Rotterdam. The company was formed in 1997 by the merger of the container-shipping interests of the leading Dutch transportation company Royal Nedlloyd (Nedlloyd Line) and the British maritime shipping giant P&O Group (P&O Containers). The company was the first large merger in the fragmented global container shipping market and is commonly believed to have initiated the current industry consolidation. The merger created the shipping equivalent to other large Anglo-Dutch cooperations such as Shell, Unilever and Reed Elsevier.
In 2004 Royal Nedlloyd bought the remaining shares from P&O and the company was listed as Royal P&O Nedlloyd on the Dutch stock exchange. Royal P&O Nedlloyd was acquired by the Danish A.P. Moller-Maersk Group (Maersk) in 2005 (95,6% of shares) and was combined with their existing container shipping business Maersk-Sealand to form Maersk Line. As Sealand was the USA based historic innovator of container shipping, Maersk Line subsequently embodies the Dutch, British as well as Danish and American merchant marine legacy.
P&O Nedlloyd held 6 percent of the worldwide industry market share, and Maersk-Sealand had 12 percent. The joined company undoubtedly is the largest shipping company worldwide, with approximately 18 percent of the world market share.
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