MSC to become a major shareholder of HHLA in Hamburg
The die is cast for MSC’s involvement in HHLA in the port of Hamburg as the sea shipping giant aims to buy 49.9 per cent of the company’s stakes. The move has already been approved by the city of Hamburg, which currently holds the majority shares of HHLA. However, it still needs regulatory approval concerning competition law and the approval of Hamburg’s federal state parliament.
According to the offer, MSC is willing to pay 16.75 euros per share. The company’s investment will be at a holding level. Hapag-Lloyd and Cosco’s existing minority interests in some individual HHLA terminals would not be affected by the deal.
HHLA expects that MSC’s participation in the company would bring significant benefits in terms of freight volumes, which, as the parties involved pointed out, could reach one additional million TEUs per year. Rail could also benefit from this development given that the increased volumes arriving in Hamburg could also tranship on trains on their way to the European hinterland and vice versa.
A report from RailFreight.com’s sister publication, Nieuwsblad Transport, highlighted that the takeover also results from HHLA’s struggle to maintain a position in global competition as a regional company. According to Hamburg Senator for Economic Affairs Melanie Leonhard, “MSC is a strong partner that has promised Hamburg additional cargo and offers new development opportunities in the port.”