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Tuesday, 08 September 2015

APM Terminals to acquire Grup Maritim TCB and 11 terminal portfolio

International container terminal operating company APM Terminals has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Spanish logistics firm Grup Maritim TCB.

The deal will see APM Terminals buy into Grup Maritim TCB’s portfolio of 11 container terminals for an undisclosed sum. It acquires the stake from Spain's largest shipping and logistics group Pérez y Cía which currently controls the assets.

Grup Maritim TCB terminals have an estimated annual container volume of 3.5 million TEU accounting for annual throughput capacity of 4.3 million TEU.

The deal is a major acquisition within the port terminal sector and comes as operators are under increasing pressure to rationalise costs. The trend by shipping lines towards ever larger vessel seizes has created demand for extensive capital investment from terminal operators and resulted in lower margins for some smaller players.

TCB acquisition follows tough H1 conditions

Earlier this quarter, APM Terminals reported tough competition in the first half of the year with profit declining 19.8% to  $351 million from $438 million in the same period last year.

“The number of containers handled by APM Terminals (weighted with APM Terminals’ ownership interest) decreased by 6% com- pared to 2014, reaching 9.2m TEU (9.8m TEU),” an APM Terminals spokesperson commented at the time.

APM Terminals’ parent company, shipping giant Maersk Line, also reported  ‘very weak’ demand for container freight for the first half of this year and predicts the segment will grow ‘slower than expected’ at a rate of 2-4% over 2015 as a whole.

Grup Maritim TCB is amongst the handful of global terminal operators that have invested heavily in international expansion in recent years. Its assets include sites in Barcelona, the Canary Islands, Valencia and Gijón in Spain, Paranaguá in Brazil, Izmir, Turkey, Progreso in Mexico, Buenaventura in Colombia and the soon to be developed Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala.

Earlier this year, Grup TCB announced it had invested $850,000 in new equipment and technology at its Nemrut Bay port in Izmir, Turkey. 

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