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COPENHAGEN, Dec 8 (Reuters) - South Korean shipper Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd is no longer under consideration to join the 2M vessel-sharing alliance, Danish shipper Maersk Line, part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Thursday.
The world's two largest container shippers, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), have discussed with Hyundai since July about including the Korean shipper in the 2M alliance.
"The parties have discussed the possibility of Hyundai Merchant Marine joining 2M as an operating partner and now decided to look at other cooperation possibilities," Maersk Line press officer Michael Storgaard said in an email.
Instead, he said, the parties are discussing the option of partnering with Hyundai through a "slot exchange and purchase agreement."
The discussions include the possibility of Maersk Line taking over charters and operations of vessels currently chartered to Hyundai with the aim of deploying them in the 2M network, Storgaard said.
Joining the alliance was one of the preconditions set out in the debt-restructuring agreement made between heavily indebted Hyundai Merchant Marine and its creditors in May. (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)