Hamburger Hafengesellschaft HHLA: Klaus-Michael Kühne erwägt Gegenangebot
The logistics entrepreneur Klaus-Michael Kühne is considering making a counteroffer for the Hamburg port operator HHLA. Kühne stated in an interview with the „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ on Wednesday that the announced entry of the Swiss shipping company MSC is a provocation towards Hapag-Lloyd, the largest shipping customer of the Hamburg port. Kühne strongly advises Hapag-Lloyd to make an immediate takeover offer for 49.9 percent of HHLA shares. If Hapag-Lloyd does not do so, Kühne Holding AG, of which Kühne owns 30 percent, is considering doing it in the short term. The entrepreneur had previously expressed interest in the Hamburg port operation.
Shortly before, the Geneva-based corporation and the Hamburg Senate announced that they had signed a binding preliminary contract to establish a strategic partnership. Currently, the city of Hamburg holds approximately 69 percent of the publicly traded HHLA. In the future, it will be operated as a joint venture, with the city holding 50.1 percent and MSC holding 49.9 percent of the shares.
If Hapag-Lloyd does not do it…
To make this possible, MSC intends to make a takeover offer of 16.75 euros per share for all currently freely traded stocks. Currently, the price stands at approximately 11.50 euros.
Hamburgs Bürgermeister Peter Tschentscher (SPD) sprach auf einer Pressekonferenz im Rathaus von einer wegweisenden Transaktion. Die Partnerschaft könne der gesamten maritimen Wirtschaft die Schubkraft geben, die in schwierigen Zeiten gebraucht werde. MSC-Chef Soren Toft sagte, mit dieser »sehr wichtigen« und strategischen Zusammenarbeit werde Hamburg zukünftig ein Knotenpunkt auf den internationalen Handelsrouten.
MSC announced plans to significantly increase cargo volume in Hamburg starting from 2025. From 2031 onwards, the goal is to handle at least one million standard containers (TEU) per year. Additionally, MSC will relocate its headquarters for Germany to Hamburg.
The HHLA stated that they will examine and evaluate the announced offer in the best interest of the company and while considering the interests of all stakeholders, in close communication with the HHLA’s supervisory board.