By Christian Wienberg
(Bloomberg) — A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s terminal unit said Tuesday it agreed to buy a Spanish rival to expand its port network by almost 20 percent.
APM Terminals will pay an undisclosed sum for Barcelona- based Grup Maritim TCB, thereby adding 11 container terminals to its existing network of 63, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The Spanish family-controlled company is the world’s 23rd largest port operator, according to the statement. APM Terminals ranks third.
Nils Smedegaard Andersen, Maersk’s group chief executive officer, has money to spend on acquisitions after divesting a stake in Danske Bank A/S, a supermarket chain and, most recently, an offshore safety unit. Andersen has said he will focus acquisitions on Copenhagen-based Maersk’s core areas of seaborne trade and oil.
Maersk “is in a strong position to make investments of this kind in volatile markets and pursue growth opportunities — both organically and by acquisition,” Andersen said in Tuesday’s statement. “The acquisition supports our growth plans and value proposition towards APM Terminals’ wide range of customers in Europe and Latin America.”
Adding Grup Maritim TCB’ facilities in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Spain and Turkey will raise the Danish company’s volume capacity by 5 percent, to about 40.3 million standard-sized containers.
APM Terminals last month formed a $200 million joint venture to invest in a Colombian port. The company has also said it’s interested in buying the state-controlled ports that the Greece government is planning to sell.
©2015 Bloomberg News