By Jite Eriabie
Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals has reached a deal to sell its 76% share in the APM Terminals Zeebrugge container terminal to COSCO SHIPPING Ports.
Under the agreement signed between APM Terminals and the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping Corporation, the stake in the Belgian port facility would be sold for a price of EUR 35 million (USD 42 million).
The transaction, which is subject to adjustments and fulfillment of conditions precedent, is expected to close by the end of November 2017.
The acquisition will bring COSCO SHIPPING Ports’ shareholding in the 1 million TEU annual capacity terminal in Belgium’s second-busiest container port to 100%.
As part of the deal, APM Terminals has proposed to buy back 25% of the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) shares and will then sell them together with APM Terminals’ own 51% stake in Zeebrugge to COSCO SHIPPING Ports.
The Dutch operator opened the Zeebrugge terminal in October 2006 and later sold a 24% share to COSCO SHIPPING Ports in 2014.
“Our decision to divest Zeebrugge reflects our portfolio strategy to focus on long term core assets. We believe COSCO SHIPPING Ports is the right long-term owner of the Zeebrugge facility and will continue to grow the port for customers, employees and the Zeebrugge stakeholder community,” Wim Lagaay, Head of APM Terminals USA and Europe Portfolio, based in The Hague, Netherlands, said.
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