German logistics investor Klaus-Michael Kuehne said he was in talks on making a possible counter offer for the Hamburg port operator HHLA but that this was currently less likely, speaking in an interview with the Zeit newspaper published on Wednesday.

"In principle, a takeover battle is not good - HHLA's share price has risen sharply, and you'd be paying too much if you tried to get shares with all your might now," he told the newspaper.

Swiss-based logistics company MSC has offered to buy almost half of the HHLA in a deal with the local Hamburg government.

Kuehne owns a 30% stake in MSC competitor Hapag-Lloyd . (Writing by Rachel More; editing by Matthias Williams)