COSCO opens talks with HHLA over possible purchase of Hamburg subsidiary

The Seaport on the river Elbe in Hamburg.

COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) has begun negotiations with Hamburger Hafen Logistik (HHLA) over a possible purchase of a minority share in HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT).

The German terminal operator said the CTT is a wholly owned subsidiary that operates three of its terminals at the Port of Hamburg, describing it as a “part of the HHLA Group’s Container segment”.

HHLA said the commercial and legal cornerstones of the potential strategic partnership are “currently the subject of ongoing negotiations” and no legally binding agreement has yet been reached.

Such an agreement would not only require the internal approval of the respective bodies of both parties, but in particular the approval of the relevant authorities.

HHLA said it expects the participation to strengthen the relationship with its Chinese partner as well as to provide sustainable planning security for Container Terminal Tollerort in order to safeguard volume and employment in the Port of Hamburg. CTT will continue to be open to all customers within HHLA’s network.

If an agreement is struck it will be the latest example of Chinese investment in a major European container hub.

In April 2021, the Port Duisburg, the largest inland port in Europe, cited investment from China as a reason for its strong performance in 2020, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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