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Allen & Overy advises Germany's leading port operator HHLA on the entry of Mainland Chinese COSCO into the terminal business

Allen & Overy has advised Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) in connection with the strategic investment by COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (CSPL) in HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT).

CSPL, a terminal operator listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and member of the COSCO Shipping Group, takes on a 35 percent minority share in the Hamburg container terminal.

HHLA expects the participation to strengthen the relationship with its Mainland Chinese partner, as well as long-term planning security for Container Terminal Tollerort and secured capacity and employment in the Port of Hamburg. With the minority interest of CSPL, CTT will become a “preferred hub” in Europe, meaning it will be the preferred transshipment point for COSCO, where cargo flows will be concentrated. Also Hamburg’s position as a logistical hub in the European North Range and for the Baltic region will be strengthened.

CTT is one of three HHLA container terminals at the Port of Hamburg. The terminal has four berths and 14 container gantry cranes. COSCO's largest container ships with a capacity of 20,000 TEU* and more are handled here. With its five tracks, the terminal’s own railway station is excellently connected to the hinterland, meaning goods can be moved quickly between CTT and European destinations. Notwithstanding the agreed minority interest of CSPL, CTT will continue to be open to all shipping lines.

The closing of the transaction is subject to various competition and foreign trade approvals. HHLA’s Supervisory Board has already approved the minority interest. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The Allen & Overy team was led by partner Dr Helge Schäfer and counsel Dr Jonas Wittgens (both Corporate/M&A) and comprised partners Dr Börries Ahrens (Antitrust, all Hamburg), Dr Heike Weber (Tax), Dr Udo Olgemöller (Public Law, both Frankfurt) and Dr Jens Matthes (IP, Düsseldorf), senior associates Dr Stefan Witte (Corporate/M&A, Hamburg) and Dr Thomas Dieker (Tax) and associates Dr Anna Jung (Public Law, both Frankfurt), Dr Jonas Labinsky (Antitrust) and Dr Jan-Benedikt Fischer (Corporate/M&A, both Hamburg).

Also senior associates Grace Harvey and Monika Przygoda (both London), partner Jonathan Hsui (Hong Kong), senior associate Lipei Shi (Beijing) as well as associate Clark Han (Shanghai, all Corporate/M&A) belonged to the team.

Director Jing Li (Shanghai) and legal specialist Eva Jiang (Beijing, both Corporate/M&A) from Allen & Overy’s partner law firm Lang Yue advised on questions of Mainland Chinese law.

HHLA was advised inhouse by Dr André Nolting (Legal Counsel Corporate and Capital Markets Law).


* Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) is a standard unit for counting ISO containers of various capacities and for describing the capacities of container ships or terminals.