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Piraeus privatisation held back

Piraeus privatisation held back

Legal wrangles have postponed the upcoming privatisation of the Port of Piraeus in Greece by several weeks.

Port unions filed a case in a specialised court this week, arguing that the sell-off of the port is unconstitutional, thus pushing the privatisation back.

According to an industry source, the case is expected to last 20 days, delaying the deadline for bids from October 30, 2015 until mid-November.

State-owned Chinese company Cosco Pacific, Maersk-subsidiary APM Terminals (APMT), and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) are the leading contenders.

The winning bidder will gain a 51% stake in the port authority, rising to 67% if it meets the investment obligations stated in its bid over a five-year period.

Cosco currently manages two piers featuring six deepwater berths within its facility, Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), while Piraeus Port Authority operates one state-owned terminal.

Meanwhile, Thessaloniki’s privatisation is expected to finish next year, with the likes of APMT, DP World and Mitsui in the running.

Last year, Piraeus handled 3.59m teu, placing it in 38th place on CM’s World Top Container Ports.