Turkish port operator Global Ports Holding, part of the Global Yatirim conglomerate, has signed a binding agreement to acquire a 30.79% stake in Maltese cruise terminal operator Valletta Cruise Port (VCP).
Completion of the transaction depends on completion of legal and administrative procedures, however, as well as on the position of existing VCP shareholders, who could use their right of pre-emption to increase their own stakes.
VCP confirmed this to IHS Maritime, quoting chief executive Stephen Xuereb as saying, “At this stage we are not in a position to comment on this possible sale/purchase, until such time as the pre-emption process has been completed in accordance with the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.”
The company currently has eight shareholders: AX Port Investment Company, AX Port Holding Company, Perquisite Holdings, M. Demajo (Port Ventures), Bank of Valletta, Malta International Airport, FSG Limited and Infrastructure World International Ltd – Hong Kong.
The move by Global Ports Holding appears to be linked to VCP’s plans to invest in the Valletta terminal complex.
Xuereb said that the terminal had shown aggregate growth of 75% since VCP took over responsibility for its management from the government in 2002. During that time, it had invested EUR37 million in its development.
“We are currently concluding plans to develop the Atrium, the Power House and the further development of the quays,” he said. “Hopefully we will be in a position to provide additional information on this front in the months ahead.”
Global Ports, which was set up in 2004, claims to be the world’s biggest cruise port operator following its takeover of Spanish port operator Creuers Barcelona last year. It now operates eight cruise and cargo ports in Montenegro, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey and says that it intends to develop its position in the cruise sector.