The liner carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. said Tuesday it has agreed to sell a 35 percent stake in its terminals business
, Terminal Investment Ltd. (TIL), to the New York-based private equity group Global Infrastructure Partners for more than $1.9 billion.
The price, MSC added, includes certain payments contingent on TIL’s future performance. Closing is expected to take place in the middle of 2013 and is subject to obtaining the relevant approvals.
“TIL has, or is in the process of acquiring, controlling or joint-controlling interests in 30 container terminals globally serving most of the world’s major trade routes and located in North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” MSC said in a statement. “TIL has grown rapidly over the last decade and is now the world’s sixth largest container terminal operator. TIL’s growth will continue to benefit from its relationship with MSC which is the world’s second largest container shipping company.”
It’s the second time this year a major container line has sold a sizable stake in its terminals business. In January, CMA CGM sold a 49 percent share of its Terminal Link subsidiary
to the terminal operator China Merchants Holdings. That stake was worth $538 million.
“We’re extremely pleased to have joined forces with GIP, one of the largest and most experienced infrastructure funds,” said Diego Aponte, vice president of MSC, in a statement. “Through this partnership we are reinforcing our terminal division, which will enable us to capitalize on future opportunities and growth. This will complement MSC’s strategy to maintain a leading position in the industry.”
GIP’s other port sector investments include a joint-controlling 27 percent interest in the Port of Brisbane, Australia; a 50 percent share of International Trade Logistics in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and a 100 stake in Great Yarmouth Port in the United Kingdom. Alistair Baillie, currently executive chairman of International Port Holdings, a wholly-owned ports investment affiliate of GIP, will be joining TIL as president.
“We are delighted to enter into this exciting new partnership with MSC,” said Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner of GIP, said. "This is in line with our strategy of developing best-in-class joint ventures with industry leaders. We expect to work closely with MSC in growing and improving this high quality portfolio of container terminal assets.” - Eric Johnson