December 21, 2017 / 5:50 PM / 3 months ago

German-led consortium signs Greek port buy after Promsvyazbank hurdle

ATHENS, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A German-led consortium bought a majority stake in Greece’s second-biggest port on Thursday, a week after the deal was put on hold because its guarantor, Russia’s Promsvyazbank, had to be bailed out.

Deutsche Invest and its partners, France’s Terminal Link SAS and Cyprus-based Belterra Investments, signed the deal for a 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port with Greece’s privatisations agency HRADF.

The deal is worth 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion), HRADF said, and the consortium has offered 231.9 million euros to take over the port as well as to spend at least 180 million euros to upgrade its infrastructure within seven years.

The sale is part of a privatisation scheme Greece has agreed under its latest international bailout. It had to postpone the signing for a week to Thursday after Promsvyazbank was placed under temporary administration.

The agreement must be ratified by the Greek parliament and the transaction is expected to be completed within the first three months of 2018, the agency said.

Under its bailout agreement, Greece has committed to launching the sale of stakes in a number of airport, oil, gas and water utilities next year.

Last year, it sold a majority stake in its largest port, Piraeus, to China’s biggest shipping company COSCO Shipping.

Thessaloniki Port’s container traffic stood at about 327,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units) in the January-to-October period, a 16.5 percent annual rise. ($1 = 0.8425 euros) (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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