China’s Cosco Pacific is understood to be the only party interested in the acquisition of the 51 percent stake (plus another 15 percent) of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).
The Hong Kong-listed firm was the only party to submit a timely binding offer in the context of the tender proclaimed in 2014 by the state privatization fund (TAIPED) by Monday’s deadline, four hours before it expired.
All signs point to the absence of a second offer for the stake, which could have created some competition for the asset up for sale. Despite expectations, it appears that the country is still a long way from becoming the holy grail of investors around the world – which may explain why TAIPED refrained from announcing anything on the offers submitted. In a statement issued on Monday it said the details of the interested buyers will only be released upon the opening of the binding bids on January 12.
Earlier, a high-ranking official of the fund had said that due to the Christmas holidays the opening of the bids would be delayed, in order to ensure the presence of all parties concerned, including TAIPED’s foreign experts. Besides Cosco, TAIPED had authorized the participation in the tender of APM Terminals (a Maersk company) from Denmark and ICTS from the Philippines.
Attention will now focus on the financial offer Cosco has pledged for the controlling stake of 51 percent in OLP, plus another 15 percent to be conceded after five years under certain conditions, including the implementation of investments totaling 350 million euros. The opening of the company’s bid will take place along with the opening of the independent experts’ appraisals (Cantor and American Appraisal Hellas) that TAIPED has commissioned.
If the price offered exceeds the level of both appraisals, then the Cosco offer will be accepted. If it is between them, TAIPED will ask Cosco for an improved offer. However, if the bid is below both appraisals, the tender will be deemed barren.