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MSC is approaching the home straight in its purchase of HHLA shares

Posted on November 27, 2023

The major shipping company MSC is approaching the home stretch in its planned takeover of almost half of the Hamburg port logistics company HHLA. As of Monday afternoon, MSC has been tendered almost 3.9 percent of HHLA shares, according to the shipping company’s daily mandatory announcements. In addition, the world’s largest liner shipping company already holds an HHLA stake of just under ten percent. MSC is offering 16.75 euros per HHLA share. The formal offer to HHLA shareholders ends on Tuesday night, but an extension is possible.

According to the information provided, the City of Hamburg and MSC now hold a total of 63.3 million HHLA shares. “This corresponds to a total of approximately 84.21 percent of the company’s share capital and voting rights as of the reporting date.” In the first half of November, MSC Germany’s CEO Nils Kahn had still spoken of 75 percent held jointly by the city and his company.

An important threshold for takeover bids is 90 percent. This threshold is decisive for forcing the remaining shareholders to transfer their shares against their will – the technical term for this is “squeeze out”.

The takeover bid, which was announced in mid-September and officially published on October 23, ends this Monday at midnight after a four-week period. Shareholders who have not accepted the MSC offer by then can do so within a statutory “further acceptance period”. According to previous MSC statements, this period is expected to run from November 24 to December 7.

The city and MSC had agreed that HHLA would be run as a joint venture in future, with the city holding at least 50.1 percent and MSC a maximum of 49.9 percent. Hamburg currently holds around 69 percent of HHLA. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals. Subject to the fulfillment of these conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.


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