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Canadian Pension Fund to Acquire Ports America, North America’s Largest Marine Terminal Operator

Mike Schuler
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September 29, 2021

Canadian pension fund CPP Investments will acquire 100% ownership of Ports America from Oaktree Capital Management at a reported valuation of more than $4 billion.

Jersey City, New Jersey-based Ports America is North America’s largest marine terminal operator, with 70 locations in 33 ports across the country handling 13.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 10 million tons of general cargo, 2.5 million vehicles and 1.7 million cruise ship passengers annually, providing services including terminal operations, stevedoring and cargo handling. The company holds approximately one-third of the U.S. container market share, operating a network of 28 container terminals in 18 ports in Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Tacoma and Houston.

CPP Investments has been an existing minority investor in Ports America since 2014.

“Ports America represents the opportunity to continue to invest in a high-quality operator that plays an important role in global trade, making the Company a good fit for our long-term infrastructure investment strategy,” said Scott Lawrence, Managing Director, Head of Infrastructure, CPP Investments. “Terminal operators play a crucial role as cargo demand and transportation requirements continue to grow in response to the rapid and dynamic changes in how individuals and businesses are buying and selling products.”

The transaction is still subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory requirements and is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2021.

“At Ports America, our commitment and ability to provide our customers with excellent, safe service and long-term, strategic value informs everything that we do,” said Mark Montgomery, Chief Executive Officer at Ports America. “Our partners at Oaktree and CPP Investments have always shared that commitment, and we look forward to continuing our work with the support of the CPP Investments team as they increase their ownership stake. We share a long-term vision for Ports America and are excited to grow our capabilities and service offerings to position the Company for another century of innovation, leadership and success.”

“It has been a privilege to work alongside Mark and the entire Ports America team for the last 12 years, and our conviction in the strength of the business has never been stronger,” said Emmett McCann, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager of Oaktree’s Infrastructure Investing strategy. “Ports America’s growth, track record of innovation and strong financial profile have positioned the Company for success in today’s cargo management and terminal operations environment, and we fully expect the business will only benefit from this new ownership structure.”

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