Greece’s second-largest port has been sold off to a German-led group in a deal with €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion).
Friday’s deal is the culmination of the privatization of Thessaloniki port. Greece’s government sold its 67-percent stake to a Deutsche Invest-led consortium on Friday.
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund in December announced the sale of its 67-percent stake in Thessaloniki Port to Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, Belterra Investments and CMA CGM’s ports division, Terminal Link.
The German-led joint venture – called South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) – beat out bids from International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and DP World to win the concession agreement.
Reuters reported on Friday that the German-led consortium has already paid €231.9 million and will shell out an additional €180 million in an improvement program.
Greece has undertaken large-scale privatization of once-public assets as part of international creditors’ demands mixed in with bailout funds.
The country’s largest port, Piraeus, has been bought out by Chinese state firm Cosco, which has launched an ambitious upgrade plan at the facility.
Overall, shipping has bucked the trend of economic decline in Greece. According to provisional data released by ELSTAT — Hellenic Statistical Authority – in Dec. 15 last year, Greek ports saw a 12.1-percent increase in domestic and international goods loaded and unloaded between 2016 and 2017.
Similarly, the number of domestic and international passengers embarking and disembarking was up 8.1 percent in the 2016/2017 period.