Shanghai Port to finalise Belgian buy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 June 2007

(Reuters) 15 June 2007

SHANGHAI - Shanghai International Port (Group), China’s biggest port operator, expects to finalise this year its purchase of a major stake in a Belgium container terminal, sources close to the deal said on Friday.

SIPG signed a framework agreement in September to buy 40 percent of a container terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium, that was built by APM Terminals, part of A.P. Moeller-Maersk Group, for about 45 million euros ($60 million).

The purchase would mark Shanghai International Port’s first major acquisition abroad and is likely to be part of a series of overseas acquisitions by the company in the next few years, the sources said.

‘Many more similar investments are expected in the foreseeable future,’ said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified.

Executives at SIPG declined to comment.

The deal, which came after SIPG aborted an earlier attempt to buy into a small terminal in the United States, is aimed at expanding the company’s operations outside China as it competes with global port operators such as PSA International and Dubai Port World.

Similar acquisitions, including more purchases in developed countries, could be unveiled in the future, although access to the US market remains difficult due to political concerns, another of the sources added.

‘Dubai Port had to let go of its stake in a US port, so the chances there are equally slim for Chinese companies,’ the source said, referring to a high-profile deal in which Dubai Port World had to sell its stake in the Port Newark container terminal to ease US concerns about security.

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