HAMBURG (dpa-AFX) - The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of the city-owned Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG) have recommended that shareholders accept the takeover bid by the major Swiss shipping company MSC. The port logistics company announced on Monday that it had published a reasoned statement in accordance with the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act on the offer submitted by MSC two weeks ago.

MSC had offered 16.75 euros per share in the offer. Following the successful completion of the transaction, HHLA is to be run as a joint venture in which the city will hold at least 50.1 percent and MSC a maximum of 49.9 percent.

"As the Executive Board, we have actively addressed the aspects of the transaction relevant to HHLA and our stakeholders in intensive talks with the City of Hamburg and MSC over the past few weeks and secured them as far as possible in a binding preliminary agreement," said Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA's Executive Board. In the process, extended commitments for HHLA's long-term development were achieved.

HHLA's investment planning for the coming years has been confirmed and an additional equity commitment of 450 million euros from the two major shareholders has been agreed. By preserving the neutrality and independence of HHLA's business model, the equal treatment of all customers continues to be ensured - especially at the intermodal subsidiary Metrans. "All customers continue to have equal access to all HHLA terminals and services throughout Europe," it said.

In addition, significant commitments have been made for HHLA employees. For example, compulsory redundancies would be ruled out for at least five years.

"With the agreements reached here, we are securing the future viability of HHLA and its business model," emphasized Rüdiger Grube, Chairman of HHLA's Supervisory Board. As the offer price was also deemed appropriate following a corresponding review, "the Supervisory Board, like the Executive Board of HHLA, recommends accepting the offer from MSC"./fi/DP/ngu