(From China Daily)
China’s COSCO Shipping Group Co, the country’s newly combined and largest shipping company by capacity, offered 700 million euros ($762 million) to acquire a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority SA, the largest port in Greece after waiting for 18 months.
China COSCO Holdings Co, a subsidiary of COSCO Shipping submitted a formal tender offer to Greek government earlier this week. COSCO Shipping was one of five industry players, including the Dutch and the US container terminal operators APM Terminals and Ports America Inc to show an interest in a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority in June 2014, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
A spokesperson for the Greek fund handling the sale wouldn’t comment as the process was continuing.
Under the proposed deal, COSCO Shipping will invest another 350 million euros once the deal is sealed within five years to improve and upgrade infrastructure facilities in Piraeus Port.
COSCO Shipping was the only chosen bidder to receive the notice from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, a privatization agency owned by the Greek government, to deliver its tender offer to Greek authority within one week time, after another two shipping rivals withdrew from the race. COSACO already operates two piers at Piraeus Port.
Eager to enhance their earning ability and compete with foreign rivals, China Ocean Shipping Group Co and China Shipping Group Co on Jan 2004 announced their merger and new management team, the COSCO-CSC Conglomerate now is the world’s fourth biggest container line, with 8 percent of global container freight capacity, as well as a large number of port, shipyard, logistics assets.
Chen Yingming, executive vice-president of Shanghai-based China Ports and Harbors Association, said even though it took long time for Greek government to choose the “best buyer,” it was worth waiting to invest in the port business, as asset values have fallen sharply under the current industrial business setting. Read more