It will position PrimePort Timaru as the key South Island partner to New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga as the primary marshalling point for South Island cargo and the transit point for coastal freight.
Tauranga is New Zealand’s leading container port and its operational expertise will be invaluable to Timaru’s existing operations, future development and its associated transport infrastructure.
Key elements of the venture which remains subject to local community consultation include:
- Port of Tauranga acquiring 50% of PrimePort Timaru shareholding to become the joint venture partner with Timaru District Holdings Ltd (TDHL)
- TDHL to acquire full ownership of the investment property at the Port
- Port of Tauranga will operate the container terminal under a long term lease arrangement
Other elements of the transaction mean that the current minority owner, Port Industry Holdings Ltd (PIHL), will sell all shares, and Port of Tauranga will buy the container terminal assets, including the cranes and forklifts.
The amount paid by Port of Tauranga for the 50% stake in PrimePort and the container assets but excluding the investment property, will be $21.6m.
PrimePort will still manage and operate all aspects of the Port, including breakbulk such as logs, fertiliser, fuel and all marine services. The only exception is the container terminal, which will be leased and operated by the Port of Tauranga.
PrimePort CEO Jeremy Boys said, “The joint venture creates the opportunity for coastal shipping to allow a better, more reliable route to international markets. The new entity will aggressively pursue new business opportunities and we believe we can attract substantial new business to PrimePort through the efficiencies and greater range of international services that this new venture provides.”