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COSCO in talks to acquire HHLA terminal stake

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (CSPL) are negotiating the purchase of a minority shareholding by CSPL in HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort GmbH (CTT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of HHLA.

CTT operates Container Terminal Tollerort, the smallest facility of the three HHLA container terminals in the Port of Hamburg, and is part of the HHLA Group's Container segment.

HHLA has confirmed that the two sides are currently discussing the commercial and legal cornerstones of the potential strategic participation.

It is important to note that the potential cooperation between the two companies would represent the first time a non-German operator has been involved in HHLA, the country’s major container gateway.

A potential final agreement between HHLA and COSCO would be another surge in the continuously expanding European ports network of the Chinese shipping powerhouse.

COSCO has already acquired the Port of Piraeus, which is now the fourth busiest container hub in Europe following the giant ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, where COSCO has also invested in. Additionally, the Chinese group expands its European presence in Spain, Belgium, Turkey and Italy.

HHLA and COSCO have not reached yet any legally binding agreement, which would not only require the internal approval of the respective bodies of both parties, but in particular the approval of the relevant authorities.

HHLA expects the participation to strengthen the relationship with COSCO as well as to provide "sustainable planning security for Container Terminal Tollerort in order to safeguard volume and employment in the Port of Hamburg."

HHLA added that CTT will continue to be open to all customers within HHLA's network.

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