Hong Kong-based Cosco Shipping Ports has paid EUR35m for APM Terminals Zeebruge facility in Belgium, boosting its original 24% stake in the country’s port operations.
In a market announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange the global operator said APM Terminals would first acquire Shanghai International Port Group’s 25% holding before selling it on to Cosco Shipping Ports along with its original controlling share of 51%.
As the second largest port in Belgium, the Port of Zeebrugge enjoys favourable geographical position. Zeebrugge Terminal is close to Hamburg and LeHavre and is within a short distance of Great Britain.
Commenting on the benefit of the acquisition China Shipping Ports said: “The Port of Zeebrugge has a good network of road and rail connections to all countries of Continental Europe, and to other ports in Northwest, Central and Eastern Europe.
“The Port of Zeebrugge is a natural deep-water harbour and is capable of satisfying the needs of mega-vessels. After the proposed acquisition, Zeebrugge Terminal will become the first terminal in Northwest Europe in which the Company holds a controlling stake and will facilitate the company in establishing its major hub ports and global strategic focal point.
“The Board believes that, holding a controlling stake in APMTZ aligns with the Company’s stated strategy of developing a comprehensive and well-balanced global terminals network and strengthening control and management of the terminals.”
The deal will also see Cosco Shipping Ports aligning its efforts with fellow subsidiary, Cosco Shipping Lines, when the operator will be able to effectively track the future routes development of the shipping line. Cosco Shipping Ports said the deal opened up opportunities for new growth and maximising synergies with the Cosco Shipping Lines fleet and the Ocean Alliance.