HHLA takes majority stake in automation specialist

Germany’s terminal operator has decided to acquire a majority share in iSAM AG, a compatriot specialist in automation technology.

HHLA / Thies Rätzke

As informed, HHLA is taking over an 80 per cent stake in the Ruhr Area-based company.

The remaining 20 percent are controlled by three previous managers of the company. Both sides have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

“With the opening of the Container Terminal Altenwerder 20 years ago, HHLA already showed what potential automation had. With this acquisition, HHLA has direct access to technological developments in the automation of industrial processes, which will make it possible to get into new innovative sectors,” Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, commented.

“This transaction confirms our intention to consistently implement our strategy focused on growth and innovation, even under the special conditions of the coronavirus pandemic,” she added.

“We have known HHLA for more than 20 years and developed the world’s first automated heavy machinery based on GPS and 3D LiDAR technology alongside companies within the HHLA Group. We look forward to deepening this cooperation and developing new markets in the automation of container handling under the HHLA Group umbrella,” Bernd Mann, shareholder and CEO of iSAM AG, said.

iSAM AG has already automated the bulk cargo terminal Hansaport in the Port of Hamburg with the implementation of intelligent control software and high-precision 3D laser scanners. At the moment, iSAM is working for the IHATEC project Container Terminal 4.0 on an automation prototype for rail gantry crane 4 at the Container Terminal Altenwerder and is developing new safety technologies for the workspaces shared by people and machines.

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The company has subsidiaries in core markets in the USA, Australia (Asia) and Canada. Thanks in particular to its strong position in the Australian market, iSAM was able to grow its revenue and profit by 30 per cent in 2020 despite COVID-19 restrictions.