Market trends: Significant mergers, acquisitions, JVs and sales by terminal operators

By: | Issue #637 | at 08:20 AM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  Terminals  

January 2014

  • Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) sells a 49% stake in containership operator’s TraPac subsidiary, which has interests in box terminals in Los Angeles and Oakland to Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.
  • Goldman Sachs sells its 49% stake in the holding company of SSA Marine. SSA has interests in over two hundred terminals, mostly in the US but also in Mexico, Chile, Columbia and Vietnam. GS Infrastructure Partners sold its shares in SSA Marine’s ultimate parent company, FRS Capital Corp (the founding Smith/Hemingway family). In turn, Mexican businessman Fernando Chico Pardo acquired a 49% share in the terminal operator from FRS.

February 2014

  • Ports America refinances the debt facilities of both Ports America, Inc. and MTC Holdings, Inc. (MTC) into a single, unified capital structure. The refinancing consisted of a new five year, $475 million senior secured credit facility, including $170 million of revolving credit and letter of credit facilities, and a new 7-year, $375 million “Holdco” (holding company) financing. A group lenders led by Royal Bank of Canada provided the senior credit facility.

June 2014

  • APM Terminals sold its terminal in the Port of Virginia to Alinda Capital Partners, one of the largest infrastructure fund specialists particularly active in inland ports, and (similar to OTPF following Macquarie) UK-based Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd.
  • Oaktree Capital Group acquires Highstar Capital. According to reports, Oaktree has been seeking to invest more in infrastructure in North America, partly to gain a stake in the booming oil & gas segment, while building out their infrastructure portfolio, especially in the port segment. Highstar owns Ports America.
  • UAE-based Gulftainer awarded 35-year concession of Port Canaveral’s container and cargo terminal in Florida. The award is significant as Dubai-based DP World was blocked from investment in US ports and sold (P&O Terminal USA) holdings to Ports America.

September 2014

  • In 2012, Hilco Global bought Sparrows Point out of bankruptcy, and partnered with Redwood Capital Investments in September 2014 to begin rebuilding the site into a state-of-the-art logistics park and multimodal center for global trade named Sparrows Point. In 2016 it was renamed Tradepoint Atlantic.

October 2014

  • Goldman Sachs says it will sell off the 33.3% stake (its shares with Prudential PLC) in Associated British Ports Holdings (ABP). The GS led consortium bought ABP in 2006 for £2.8 billion pounds ($4.47 billion) edging out Australian competitor Macquarie Bank Ltd. Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. and Singapore’s GIC Special Investments each own a third of the company.

December 2015

  • China Shipping Terminal Development Co (CSTD) inks an agreement with CJKEC to purchase a 20% stake in KEC Busan Container Terminal (KBCT) in South Korean Busan port. With the deal CSTD became the second largest shareholder in the container terminal. KBCT is located in the northern zone of Busan port, and is majority controlled by CJKEC. At the time it was reported, “The move by CSTD to invest in KBCT represents an important step in achieving consolidation in port operations after the company is sold to Cosco Pacific (see below) and to continue to pursue strategic global expansion.
  • DP World and the Prince Rupert Port Authority sign Phase II South feasibility study agreement. DP World and the Prince Rupert Port Authority have announced an agreement to study further expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert.

January 2016:

  • The ICTSI officially breaks ground on greenfield project in Matadi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. ICTSI expects the terminal to be completed by the third quarter of 2016 and it will have an initial capacity of 175,000 TEUs.
  • Ports America’s Port of Oakland terminal operator Ports America Outer Harbor announced that it would withdraw from the Port on March 31st. Subsequently in February, Ports America Outer Harbor announced it was filing for bankruptcy effectively ending negotiations with the Port of Oakland. The company operated one of the five main terminals in the Port of Oakland. Ports America later (see below) announced their West Coast strategy involved improving operations in the Pacific Northwest.

February 2016

  • The merger of COSCO and China Shipping Group (CSG) results in the launching of China Cosco Shipping Corporation (CCSC). The terminal segment of the deal will add interest in 18 container terminals in 12 Chinese ports, as well as facilities in Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Seattle and Los Angeles in the USA, Zeebrugge in Belgium, and Damietta in Egypt. Cosco Pacific already owns stakes in 24 container terminals, including common ownership stakes with CSG’s China Shipping Terminal Development in Tianjin, Hong Kong and Kaohsiung.

April 2016

  • Ports America outlined its West Coast strategy following the exit from Oakland (see above). The main element includes a significant expansion and 20-year lease extension of the Husky Terminal in Tacoma, WA. International Transportation Service, Inc. (ITS), a joint venture between Ports America and “K” Line, negotiated an extension of its Husky lease with the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) through 2046. Ports America is an equity holder and service provider to Husky Terminal. Included in the lease extension is a planned expansion project of more than $141 million approved by the NWSA. The project is expected to be complete by July 2018. Husky Terminal’s project will provide the terminal with approximately 104 acres of leased and preferential berthing and NWSA has agreed to order four gantry cranes and to complete yard and gate improvements. Upon completion, Husky Terminal will be capable of simultaneously accommodating two 18,000-TEU megacontainer vessels. Ports America is a 30% owner of ITS with the remaining 70% interest owned by “K” Line.
  • DP World and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus entered into two separate con cession agreements for the commercialization of activities within Limassol port, Cyprus. DP World Limassol has been awarded a 25-year concession for the exclusive right to operate the multipurpose terminal, whose activities include break-bulk, general cargo, ro/ro and the operation of the passenger terminal. Simultaneously, P&O Maritime Cyprus (a wholly-owned subsidiary of DP World Limited) has also been awarded a 15-year concession to exclusively provide a full range of port marine services including tugs and pilotage at the port of Limassol. Both concessions will be awarded to a joint venture between DP World and G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Limited, a logistics and services company, listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. DP World shall hold 75% of the share capital of each joint venture, as well as the management rights.

May 2016

  • ICTSI acquired from Grupo TMM and Immobiliaria TMM 100% ownership of Terminal Maritima de Tuxpan (TMT) in Veracruz, Mexico. TMT holds an extendable 20-year concession for the development and operation of a projected one million TEU terminal.
  • Port Holdings (“DPH”) acquired Savannah-based Liberty Terminals with addi tional operations in Charleston, SC. Liberty Terminals will operate as Seaonus Stevedoring-Savannah LLC. Liberty Terminals operates on the oldest continuous maritime facility on the East Coast. In 2008 the berth was refurbished with a $14 million investment. DPH, and related companies, Seaonus and Portus are all owned by SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners.

June 2016

  • Tradepoint Atlantic, announced that Pasha Automotive Services, a subsidiary of The Pasha Group, has signed a lease to launch automobile processing operations at Tradepoint Atlantic. The initial lease will ready 21 acres of improved land to service Tradepoint Atlantic’s first OEM contract with potential expansion of up to 150 acres. The terminal will host a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) operation for imported automobiles, beginning with Fiat Chrysler. The first vessel call was planned for July of 2016 with Tradepoint Atlantic investing $5 million on infrastructure upgrades such as berth improvements, security upgrades, and additional roadway infrastructure for the site.
  • The CMA CGM Group assumed control of NOL, a listed Singaporean company, number 12 in the world for container shipping, renowned for its APL brand. NOL and the APL containership division is now a subsidiary of CMA CGM along with APL’s terminal assets.
  • CMA CGM and PSA Singapore Terminals announced the establishment of a joint venture company named CMA CGM – PSA Lion Terminal PTE Ltd (“CPLT”), owned in proportions of 49% and 51% respectively, to lease and operate four container berths in the port of Singapore. With an estimated annual handling capacity of over TEU 3 million, the joint venture’s facilities will be used as a dedicated container terminal.
  • CMA CGM signed an agreement with the Port Authority of Jamaica (“PAJ” or “Jamport”) for a 30-year concession of Kingston Container Terminal. CMA CGM intends to develop KCT as a strategic hub on the context of the widened Panama Canal and the use of larger vessels for the lines operated in the area. The handover of the terminal’s operations from PAJ to CMA CGM took place June 30, 2016, triggering the transfer of certain assets and liabilities against a payment of $75 million, $24 million of which remaining to be paid in 3 to 6 months from handover date.
  • In June DP World announced it won a 50-year concession for the development of a greenfield multi-purpose port project at Posorja, Ecuador, 65 kilometres from the country’s main business city of Guayaquil. The terminal will cost $500 million for Phase 1 with over $1 billion for the entire project. The $500 million initial investment (Phase 1) will include the purchase of land, dredging of a new access channel, a 20 kilometre access road and a 400 metre berth equipped to handle containers and other cargo. Construction is expected to start within the next six to nine months and take around 24 months to complete, resulting in 750,000 TEU of capacity.

July 2016

  • DP World signed a long-term lease agreement for the expansion and operation of the multi-purpose Rodney Container Terminal at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. DP World will begin operations on January 1, 2017 and work in partnership with the Saint John Port Authority on a planned expansion program to be completed in 2021with the lease continuing for 30 years thereafter. Canada based Logistec is the current terminal operator.
  • On July 27th DP World and the state run Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development o Kaohsiung Port’s Terminal 7 in Taiwan. DP World will be the first global operator entering the Taiwan market.

August 2016

  • APM Terminals announced it will invest $70 million in the Port of New York/New Jersey’s Port Elizabeth terminal. The investment will increase the terminal’s capacity from 1.5 million TEUs to 2.3 million TEUs.

September 2016

  • Cosco Shipping Ports entered into a concession agreement for the construction, man agement and operation of the Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2 in Abu Dhabi. The agreement is for 35 years, the company has an option to extend it by a further five years.
  • It was reported that Australia’s largest container port, The Port of Melbourne, was sold for US$7.3 billion to a consortium of investors. The Lonsdale Consortium comprising the Future Fund, QIC, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and OMERS was named by the Victorian Government as the successful bidder of a 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne.
  • APM Terminals to acquire full ownership of APM Terminals-Aarhus A/S from Aarhus Service Holding A/S. Aarhus Service Holding A/S sold its 40% share in APM Terminals-Aarhus A/S to its JV Partner since the 2010 merger of adjoining facilities in Denmark’s largest port. In September APM Terminals has reached an agreement with joint venture partner Aarhus Service Holding for the purchase of the remaining 40% of the existing APM Terminals-Aarhus A/S facility. Container throughput at Aarhus has risen from 399,000 TEUs in 2012, to 442,000 TEUs in 2015.
  • On September 16th DP World announced it had won a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year extension for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project at Berbera, Republic of Somaliland. The Port of Berbera opens a new point of access to the Red Sea and will complement DP World’s existing port at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. DP World will set up a joint venture with 65% control together with the government of Somaliland to manage and invest in the Port of Berbera. The investment of up to $442 million will include a first phase of a 400 metre quay and 250,000 square metre yard extension, and gantry cranes and reach stackers to handle containers and cargo. Construction of the quay extension is expected to start 12 months after the satisfaction of the terms and conditions of the agreement and will take 24 months to complete.

October 2016

  • Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,100-acre multimodal industrial site in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that Atlantic Forest Products, a wholesale distributor of building materials, has signed a long-term lease at Tradepoint Atlantic. Atlantic Forest Products will be leasing two storage buildings totaling 160,000-square-feet of covered space on 16 acres of land at Tradepoint Atlantic for staging of building products. In addition, the lease includes 6,500 square feet of office space for Atlantic Forest Products to locate its corporate headquarters to Sparrows Point.
  • Ports America and Cooper/T. Smith announced a merger of their breakbulk operations in the Port of Houston into a new joint venture called Cooper/Ports America, LLC (C/PA). Additionally, C/PA agreed to acquire all the assets of Shippers Stevedoring and Chaparral Stevedoring under C/PA’s operations. Integrated Marine Services LLC (IMS), the empty container yard facility located adjacent to the Barbours Cut Terminal that offers complete intermodal equipment and depot services in Barbours Cut, Texas will also be part of the venture.
  • Ports America Chesapeake and CSX Intermodal Terminals announced a new agreement, which transfers operational responsibility for the intermodal container service from CSX Intermodal Terminals to Ports America Chesapeake. “Having direct on-dock access to rail service is a significant competitive differentiator for the Port of Baltimore, enhancing its attractiveness as one of only three East Coast ports equipped to handle super-post-Panamax ships, which will expand our ability to attract new freight,” Ports America CEO and President Michael Hassing said. In 2010, Ports America Chesapeake assumed operational control of the Seagirt Marine Terminal through a public-private partnership and began a $500 million investment program.
  • On Oct. 17th Cosco Shipping Ports announced the purchase of a 40% stake in APM Terminals’ Vado Holdings, which operates the Vado Reefer Terminal at Vado Port in Italy, for EUR53m ($58.3m). The transaction was done through its CSPL SPV unit, which is buying the stake from APM Terminals. Vado Holding is the holding company of Vado RT, which operates the Vado Reefer Terminal at the Vado Port, one of the largest reefer terminals in the Mediterranean region with an annual capacity of up to 300,000 TEU in addition to 600,000 pallets. Vado Holding is also expected to complete its purchase of Vado CT, the company that will operate Vado Container Terminal, a new deep-water terminal located at the Vado Port, in 2018. The new terminal is currently under construction and is scheduled to commence operation in 2018 with an initial annual capacity of 600,000 TEU, which will be expanded to 900,000 TEU. In a related agreement, Chinese port operator Qingdao Port International, announced it had taken a stake in Vado Port, paying EUR1.7m for a 9.9% indirect stake. This will enable it to take part in the operation and management of the two terminals.
  • On October 29th DP World, announced the arrival of two new quay cranes before its operations begin in January 2017. DP World working with Port Saint John, and the governments of Canada and New Brunswick, have embarked on $205 million infrastructure modernization program expected to be completed in 2021. Once operational the new cranes will be modified with a range of features: the capability to work a 16 container-wide, 6,500 TEU capacity vessel (substantially larger than the average 3,000 TEU vessels currently serviced) and an ability to handle larger vessels through all loading and tidal conditions. Saint John has some of the largest tides in the world and being able to continuously work a vessel through a 7.7m tidal cycle improves current operational capabilities.

American Journal of Transportation