Taiped accepts ‘significantly improved’ Cosco bid for Piraeus
Cosco Pacific has been given the go-ahead to buy a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority, following its ‘significantly improved’ offer.
Taiped, the Greek privatisation agency, accepted Cosco’s €368.5 million bid for a 67% share in PPA, after rejecting an initial offer which was reported to be around €300m.
The deal will be in two phases – Cosco will initially pay €18.5m for 51% of the port authority and five years later, subject to other terms of the deal being met, it will pay another €88m to take the stake to 67%. Part of the agreement is that Cosco will invest €350m over ten years, while concession proceeds for Greece are forecast at €410m.
The transaction will be an important driver for employment growth and economic development around the port area, said Taiped. Cosco, which already operates the larger part of the port’s container terminal in a 35-year concession, has already pushed Piraeus to become one of the fastest growing container ports in the Mediterranean.
Thessaloniki – Greece’s second port – and ten regional ports are also for sale under the privatisation programme required by international creditors. However, port privatisation has been opposed by trade unions and also caused fierce debate within the government.