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Cosco to buy APM Terminals’ 76% stake in Zeebrugge container terminal

LBR Staff Writer Published 14 September 2017

Hong Kong-based Cosco Shipping Ports has signed an agreement to acquire APM Terminals’ 76% stake in Zeebrugge container terminal in Belgium.

The acquisition increases Cosco’s interest to 100% in the one million TEU annual capacity terminal. In 2014, Cosco purchased 24% stake from APM Terminals in Zeebrugge terminal.

As per terms of the deal, APM Terminals will have an option to buy back 25% interest in the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), and again sell them together with the firm’s 51% stake in Zeebrugge to Cosco.

Zeebrugge is a common user facility, which offers better access to Northern France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

With feeder, barge, rail and truck service, the terminal provides client-focused solution and close access to main shipping routes.

Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete in three to four months.

Cosco Shipping is a co-shareholder and strategic partner in various 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 purchased a 40% stake in the deep-water APM Terminals Vado terminal project in Italy. It is currently under construction.

APM Terminals USA and Europe portfolio head Wim Lagaay said: “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.”

Image: Zeebrugge is the one million TEU annual capacity terminal in Belgium. Photo: courtesy of APM Terminals.