China’s port operator Cosco Group (Hong Kong) Limited has officially acquired a 51 percent stake in the Greek Piraeus Port Authority following prolonged talks on the matter, according to Reuters.
The stake was bought for EUR 280.5 million (USD 313.7 million), representing a price of EUR 22 per share. The company has an option to acquire the remaining share of 16 percent in the port over a period of five years, for EUR 88 million.
The tender process for the sale of 67% of the shares of the Piraeus Port Authority was launched in March 2014, but the stake has since been downsized to 51 percent.
After it signed an agreement with the TAIPED (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund) for the transfer of the majority stake in the Piraeus Port Authority in April, Cosco Group (Hong Kong) Limited received approval for the new concession agreement in mid-June.
The deal included the investment of EUR 350 million in the port over a period of ten years, however, at the beginning of July, the Wall Street Journal cited the company’s president Xu Lirong as saying that China Cosco could invest up to EUR 500 million in the port over the period of five years.
The investment would be used to update the cruise and shipbuilding industry and develop the port’s facilities and services.
The privatization of Piraeus Port is one of key conditions of the country’s bailout plan with the EU lenders.
World Maritime News Staff