Cosco takes full control of APM Terminals Zeebrugge NV
APM Terminals and Hong Kong-based Cosco Shipping Ports Limited, a subsidiary of China Cosco Shipping Corporation Limited, have reached an agreement on the key terms of the proposed sale of APM Terminals’ 76 per cent majority shareholding in the existing APM Terminals Zeebrugge container facility to Cosco Shipping Ports.
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 per cent. As part of the transaction, APM Terminals has proposed to buy back 25 per cent of the Shanghai International Port Group (“SIPG”) shares and will then sell them together with APM Terminals’ own 51 per cent stake in Zeebrugge to Cosco Shipping Ports. Further details of the transaction have not been disclosed which is subject to customary regulatory approvals – expected to take three to four months for completion.
APM Terminals opened the Zeebrugge terminal in October 2006 and later sold a 24 per cent share to Cosco Shipping Ports in 2014. Cosco Shipping and its alliance partners have become the major customers of the port with a long term interest to grow port volumes.
“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,” states Wim Lagaay, Head of APM Terminals USA and Europe Portfolio, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
Cosco Shipping Ports is a co-shareholder and strategic partner in several operations within the APM Terminals global terminal network, including the Suez Canal Container Terminal in Egypt, Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal (QQCT) and Guangzhou South China Oceangate Container Terminal (GOCT) in China. In October 2016, Cosco Shipping Ports acquired a 40 per cent share in the deep-water APM Terminals Vado terminal project under construction in Vado, Italy.