Hundreds of people demonstrated on Tuesday against the planned partial sale of the HHLA Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG to the Geneva-based container line MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.

It was a loud protest with the demonstrators chanting: “Our port – not your casino!”

The demonstration moved from HHLA’s headquarters to the Rathausmarkt.

With a strong police presence the demonstrators made it clear their opposition to the 49.9% sale of the HHLA to the Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), as they consider the planned entry of MSC into HHLA to be wrong.

The trade union which had called for the demonstration under the slogan “Our port – not your casino!”, spoke of around 2,500 participants, as it is reported from various local media.

MSC is making an offer for 49.9% stake in Hamburg HHLA. The world´s largest container line MSC intends to acquire all free-floating A-Shares of HHLA and announced its intention to launch a voluntary public takeover offer.

HHLA is to be operated as a strategic joint venture, with the City of Hamburg holding a stake of 50.1% and MSC ultimately holding a stake of 49.9%.

The closing of the MSC offer will be subject to regulatory approval, and approval by the parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

The news came to light earlier this month with both sides making announcements, and HHLA informing about the submission of a voluntary public takeover offer by the MSC group.

The intention of MSC is to substantially increase its container volume at HHLA terminals in Hamburg, beginning in 2025 and raising it to at least 1,000,000 teu per year from 2031 onwards.

In addition, MSC will establish its new German headquarters with several hundred employees in Hamburg.

Furthermore, MSC and the City of Hamburg also agree to commit on a long-term investment plan to be developed in alignment with HHLA.

Video credit: NDR Hamburg (