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Euroports up for sale?

The investment consortium that owns Euroports is reported to have appointed Citi and Goldman Sachs to sell the business, with an asking price of around €1B (US$1.18B).
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This story was filed by Reuters, quoting market sources. One source said the company, which has a turnover of around €550M, was difficult to value because it had stakes in a diverse range of ports, and there was little information available.

The European ports operator is owned by Brookfield Asset Management, Antin Infrastructure Partners and Arcus Infrastructure Partners, and has 22 terminals in Europe and three in China. It also operates terminals on behalf of industrial clients at a further 10 sites.

The company has grown by acquisition, and has a strong focus on commodity trades (e.g. forestry products, bulk trades). Company data show that its various operations handle an aggregate 46 Mtpa, and it has 2,550 full-time employees.

Brookfield and the banks declined to comment. The company and the other investors did not respond to requests for comment.

The question is who will buy the group? If the rumoured sale price is true, the owners are looking for almost twice turnover, but, given the range of commodities and general cargoes handled, profits will vary widely from terminal to terminal, so another investor group is unlikely to be attracted.

According to Reuters again, “sources said that Chinese investors typically preferred container ports but could still consider the asset as part of an aggressive acquisition drive in the sector”.

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