The Hong-Kong based port operator and APM Terminals have reached an agreement on the key terms of the proposed sale, in relation to the acquisition of approximately 76% of the issued share capital of APM Terminals Zeebrugge NV in a deal worth up to €35 million (£31.7 million).
The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2017 and the acquisition will bring Cosco Shipping Ports’ shareholding in the one million TEU annual capacity terminal in Belgium’s second-busiest container port to 100%.
As part of the transaction, APM Terminals has proposed to buy back 25% of the Shanghai International Port Group shares and will then sell them together with APM Terminals’ own 51% stake in Zeebrugge to Cosco Shipping Ports.
Further details of the transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed.
APM Terminals opened the Zeebrugge terminal in October 2006 and later sold a 24% 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,” says Wim Lagaay, head of APM Terminals USA and Europe portfolio.
“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.”
Cosco Shipping operates the world’s largest shipping fleet by tonnage.
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, and Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal (QQCT) and Guangzhou South China Oceangate Container Terminal (GOCT) in China.
Last October it also acquired a 40% share in the deep-water APM Terminals Vado terminal project under construction in Italy.