Thessaloniki port to go up for grabs on a revised contract

By Vangelis Mandravelis

State sell-off fund TAIPED is proposing the sale of a 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH), while it plans to revise the existing concession contract in a bid to make it more functional.

The Greek state will retain a 7 percent stake in the company that operates Greece’s second port through a deal that TAIPED officials told Parliament on Wednesday will safeguard public interest. The new concession contract will last up to 2051 and there is no intention of extending it.

The privatization model chosen for OLTH is similar to that used for the sale of Piraeus Port Authority, except there already is one sub-contractor in Piraeus – Cosco.

TAIPED told Parliament that Thessaloniki is a particularly profitable port, which also has cash reserves of about 100 million euros while its cargo traffic is on the rise. “Its management has done a good job,” TAIPED chief executive officer Yiannis Emiris told Parliament’s Financial Affairs Committee.

Also on Wednesday TAIPED executive director Andreas Taprantzis told Bloomberg that the fund is preparing the clustering of public real estate assets for a portfolio worth between 350 and 500 million euros, so that it can be offered to private investors by the end of the year.