ATHENS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Greece’s Piraeus Port (OLP) and China’s Cosco Pacific sealed the final terms of an estimated 4.3 billion euro deal that will see Cosco operate OLP cargo facilities for up to 35 years, an OLP official said on Friday.
Greece's conservative government sought investors to run and modernise facilities at OLP OLPr.AT, the country's largest port, in February, aiming to boost competitiveness and grow cargo business at its commercial docks.
“OLP and Cosco have completed negotiations and have agreed on the financial terms of the contract,” a senior OLP official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.
Cosco Pacific 1199.HK, the world's fifth-largest container port operator, will pay OLP a total of 4.3 billion euros ($5.90 billion) based on projected revenues, in annual instalments, over the duration of the contract.
The two companies have agreed on details and financial terms including a refund paid to OLP by Cosco if the latter does not complete construction works and the charges OLP will have to pay for using the docks.
Greece’s court of audit, which oversees large financial contracts with the state, is expected to approve the terms of agreement later in October, and then both parties will sign the contract.
OLP expects to be in the red this year, hurt by dockworkers’ refusal to work overtime since January as they oppose the deal. It has said Cosco will help it return to profitability, projecting earnings will grow 60 percent over five years.
OLP, with a current market value of 308 million euros, is 74 percent state-owned. Its shares have lost about 60 percent since the start of the year, underperforming a 51.6 percent drop in the benchmark index .ATG. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou, editing by Will Waterman)
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