Shares in Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) have surged following a takeover offer from MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co., which values the listed shares at approximately €1.21 billion ($1.30 billion). The offer comes as part of an agreement with the city of Hamburg, which is the majority owner of the Hamburg port operator.
MSC, based in Switzerland, announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary, Port of Hamburg Beteiligungsgesellschaft, is offering to purchase all class A shares in HHLA for €16.75 each in cash. In connection with this offer, MSC and the city of Hamburg have reached a binding agreement. Under this agreement, an entity owned by the city will transfer its A shares in HHLA to the MSC subsidiary, acquiring a 50.1% stake in the subsidiary. The remaining 49.9% will be held by MSC if they achieve full ownership.
Currently, at 0713 GMT, HHLA shares are trading 45% higher at €16.74.
In response to the offer, HHLA has stated that its executive board will carefully review and evaluate the proposal in the best interests of the company, ensuring the safeguarding of its stakeholders.
The offer made by MSC represents a significant premium to HHLA's closing share price on Tuesday, which stood at €11.54.
According to HHLA's website, the company has 72.5 million listed class A shares, with the city of Hamburg currently owning 69% of these shares. Additionally, the city holds a further 2.7 million nonlisted shares.