DP World Greek port bid expected on Friday

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Dubai’s DP World is among four foreign investors who are expected to bid for a majority stake in Greece’s Thessaloniki Port, on Friday, the offer deadline, the port’s top executive said on Wednesday.

The UAE global ports operator joins Phillipines-based International Container Terminal Services, Japan’s Mitsui and the German private equity Deutsche Invest Equity Partners to have completed due diligence, the Greek port chairman Konstantinos Mellios told Reuters.

When contacted by The National, a DP World spokesman declined to comment specifically on the bid, saying only: “We seek opportunities around the world wherever they arise.”

The sale of a 67 per cent stake in Greece’s second-largest port, which was launched in 2014, has been beset by delays and political resistance.

“Those four are still interested as we speak, there is information that all four will submit binding bids on Friday,” Mr Mellios said, adding that Deutsche Invest had teamed up with the French container shipping company CMA CGM.

Bids will be submitted by 19.00GMT to the financial adviser Morgan Stanley and Greece’s privatisation agency would open the offers by April 7 at the latest, he said.

Thessaloniki port workers walked off the job for three hours on Wednesday to protest against the sale but Mr Mellios said it would not affect operations.

Greece’s port workers union were expected to sign a new two-year labour contract with the port’s management on Thursday, he said, giving them time to negotiate with the winning bidder, which will also operate the port for 40 years.

Thessaloniki Port has a market value of US$211 million and had a throughput of 344,277 20-foot equivalent units last year. 

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