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Federal Government approves investment by CSPL in operating company HHLA Container Terminal

With the city of Hamburg as its main shareholder, HHLA will continue as an independent and listed company.

The German government has approved the acquisition of a minority stake of less than 25 percent in the operating company HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort GmbH (CTT) by the Chinese company COSCO Shipping Port Limited (CSPL), subject to conditions.

This is less than the originally planned 35% stake, which was agreed upon last September.

The latest deal was reached as a compromise after widespread criticism of the initial deal. 

COSCO SHIPPING Ports Will Acquire 35% Shares of Container Terminal Tollerort in the Port of Hamburg, Germany - Logistics Manager

With the city of Hamburg as its main shareholder, HHLA will continue as an independent and listed company.

According to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the acquirers will be ‘prohibited from otherwise acquiring an effective interest of control of HHLA CTT that goes beyond the influence conveyed by a share of voting rights below 25%’.

CSPL has now received the clearance to acquire a 24.99% stake in the terminal.

However, it will not have any exclusive rights to CTT, and the terminal can be used for container volumes of all customers.

CSPL will also not have access to strategic know-how, while IT and sales data will remain completely managed by HHLA.

HHLA · RSM Design

The investment of CSPL is expected to help turn CTT into a preferred hub for Asian traffic.

HHLA executive board chairwoman Angela Titzrath said: “Our long-standing Chinese partner COSCO Shipping Ports Limited can acquire a minority share of less than 25% in the operating company of Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) GmbH in Hamburg, subject to the conditions imposed by the Federal Government.”

It is noteworthy HHLA and CSPL had signed an agreement in September 2021 according to which the Chinese company would acquire a minority share of 35 percent in Container Terminal Tollerort.

The sale of the shares was subject to approval by the German government under investment law. Although both companies immediately submitted the necessary documents to the Federal Ministry of Economics, the review process dragged on until well into 2022.

In August, HHLA and CSPL agreed to an extension of the deadline until 31 October in order to bring the process to a successful conclusion.

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