BUSINESS

German-led consortium lands Thessaloniki Port

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations

The improved bid of 231.92 million euros sufficed for the consortium of Deutsche Invest Equity Partners (DIEP) with the subsidiary of France’s CMA CGM (Terminal Link) and the Savvidis Group (Belterra Investments Ltd) to win the tender for a 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH).

The German-French-Greek consortium offered 34.34 euros per share compared to the stock price of 20.5 euros at the Athens Exchange on Monday. Therefore the premium amounts to 67 percent, on a par with what Cosco offered for a stake in Piraeus Port Authority.

The bid by the DIEP-CMA-Belterra consortium values OLTH at 346 million euros against a capitalization of 206 according to yesterday’s bourse closing.

This high price, combined with the increased competition among multinational candidates in state sell-off fund TAIPED’s tender and the Chinese investment in Piraeus, serves to confirm estimates that the Greek port industry harbors considerable growth prospects.

Market experts believe that once the investments in infrastructure and the quality of service at Greece’s two main ports are implemented (particularly in Thessaloniki), they will be able to supplement each other and acquire major shares in the Mediterranean market of the trade originating from Asia and the regional maritime transport of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea.

The total value of the agreement for OLTH is much higher than the agreed price for the 67 percent stake, according to TAIPED. The fund estimates that the benefit to the Greek state from the deal will come to 1.1 billion euros as it will also include the consortium’s commitment to invest 180 million euros in the next seven years, and the expected revenues of the state from the concession agreement amounting to 3.5 percent of the annual OLTH turnover, set to add up to another 170 million euros. Other sums concern the expected dividends and the anticipated investments (besides those provided by the agreement) up to the end of the concession agreement in 2051.

The tender’s file will be submitted to the State Audit Council for provisional monitoring, which is necessary for the signing of the deal.

Online