(Yicai Global) May 11 -- Chinese shipping giant China Ocean Shipping Group has finally gained approval from the German government to acquire a 24.9 percent stake in a container terminal owned by Hamburger Hafen und Logistik, Yicai Global learned from the Hamburg Liaison Office China today.
HHLA said it welcomed the decision, as it will allow the Tollerort terminal at the Port of Hamburg to be expanded to become the preferred terminal for COSCO to ship cargo between Asia and Europe.
China is the largest trading partner of both Germany and the Port of Hamburg, with around 30 percent of the cargo handled at the port coming from or going to China. The German company said it would complete the transaction with counterparty COSCO Shipping Ports in a timely manner.
A German government spokesperson said no adjustment would be made to the deal concluded by the two sides last October, even though the terminal has been classified as critical infrastructure, local media reports said on May 10.
COSCO Shipping Ports, a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping, had announced plans in September 2021 to acquire a 35 percent stake in the terminal for EUR65 million (USD71 million), but there was resistance to the investment from some parts of the German government.
In late October last year, a German cabinet meeting gave approval for the Chinese firm to take a reduced 24.9 percent stake, but the deal was temporarily thrown into doubt when the terminal was listed as critical infrastructure, which led to a further review of the deal.
The Port of Hamburg’s throughput reached 8.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units last year, down 5.1 percent from 2021 because of the difficult international economic environment, according to its latest annual report.
Last year, China was the port’s largest trading partner with 2.46 million TEUs, followed by the United States with 605,000 TEUs, and Singapore with 423,000 TEUs.
Editor: Tom Litting