MOSCOW–APM Terminals, the port-operating arm of Danish industrial group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (MAERSK-B.KO), said Monday that it has acquired a stake worth $860 million in Russia’s Global Ports (GLPR.LN), in the largest ever private, foreign investment in the Russian port sector.
Under the terms of the deal, Netherlands-headquartered APM is buying 50% of private transportation group N-Trans’s stake in the Russian port operator, leaving both sides with 37.5% of the company. The remaining 25% of the company is publicly traded as global depositary receipts in London.
The acquisition values Global Ports’ share capital at $2.3 billion, the company said, making the deal worth approximately $860 million.
The deal comes just weeks after Russia formally joined the World Trade Organization, which both companies said made joining forces more attractive.
“We regard Russia as a long term growth market for container trade and believe the WTO accession will further accelerate trade,” said APM Terminal Chief Executive Kim Fejfer.
Global Ports says it controls 30% of overall container volume in Russia and 23% of the former Soviet Union fuel oil export market. It operates facilities in St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Muuga, Estonia and Helsinki.
“The partnership with APM Terminals will give us global expertise in port development and combined with our understanding of regional markets, gives us a great opportunity to expand our development in the region,” said Global Ports Chairman Nikita Mishin.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the companies said.
By Lukas I. Alpert, (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company