July 29 - Luxembourg-based port operator EUROPORTS has two new shareholders.

Further to the update that provided in April on this website of the planned asset sale by Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, BBI has now been joined by Paris-based Antin Infrastructure Partners and London-based Arcus European Infrastructure Fund, giving a new shareholding structure in EUROPORTS of 66 percent BBI, 19.9 percent Antin and 14.1 percent Arcus. Antin has an option to further extend its shareholding by 5.97percent.

The arrival of new shareholders in EUROPORTS has provided the company with an enhanced capital reserve to meet future activities and has significantly strengthened its current balance sheet.

EUROPORTS will also be moving to a 100 percent ownership (from 75 percent) of its key Belgian assets Manuport and Westerlund. This change is subject to formal EU clearance which is expected to be granted during August.

Nick West, CEO of EUROPORTS, said "this new shareholding structure gives added strength and stability to EUROPORTS. It enables us to continue developing our already substantial activities in the European ports sector".

EUROPORTS claims to be Europe's most diversified port operator handling some 65 million tonnes per annum through its 18 port terminals. It is focussed on the bulk and general cargo sectors and, post formal competition clearance, will be the sole shareholders in the Manuport Group (Antwerp, Ghent, and Le Havre); the Westerlund Group (Antwerp, Rouen and Changshu); TPS (Tarragona, Spain); WCT (Meerhout, Belgium); Rauma Stevedoring (Finland); Botnia Shipping (Pietarsaari Finland). It will also have an 80 percent stake in TRI (Genoa, Savona and Venice, Italy); 75 percent of CTB Magemon (Liege, Belgium) and 50 percent of SHRU (Rostock, Germany).


It is understood that BBI sold the 40 percent interest for Euros 141.5 million, which values the EUROPORTS business post investment at Euros 353 million.

BBI said it would recognise a pre-tax impairment/loss on disposal of about Euros 120 million, adding that it expected completion of the agreement to occur in late July or early August.