A consortium led by the Grimaldi Group companies Grimaldi Euromed SpA and Minoan Lines S.A. has acquired a majority stake in the Heraklion Port Authority (HPA S.A.).
For a total price of €80 million ($87.8 million), the Italian group acquired 67 per cent of the capital of the company that manages the largest and busiest seaport in Crete.
The stake in the port has been put out to tender by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), which organises the management and privatisation of public assets in Greece.
This new, strategic investment follows Grimaldi Group’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in Igoumenitsa Port Authority S.A., the company that manages the namesake Greek port.
The signing ceremony was held in Athens and attended, among others, by Greek Minister of Finance Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy Christos Stylianides, and the Minister of Rural Development and Food Lefteris Avgenakis.
During the ceremony, the Minister of Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, stated: “I believe that the Port of Heraklion, one of the largest ports in the country, is moving to another level.
“Managed by a large international group, it has the opportunity to increase its activities and strengthen the role of Greece, but also of Crete in particular as a transit center.
“It is also important that this agreement with the Grimaldi Group, which is familiar with the port of Heraklion, is combined with a series of agreements with the local community and especially with the Municipality of Heraklion. But it is also combined with the rationalisation of the management of the ports of Crete.”
The Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy, Christos Stylianides, said: “Today is a very important day for Heraklion.
“By signing the agreement for the purchase of a 67 per cent majority stake in the share capital of Heraklion Port Authority by the Grimaldi Group, the Authority acquires a strong ally, with rich experience in managing port infrastructure.
“At the same time, HRADF retains 33 per cent of the share capital, signaling more development for the national and local economy.”
The signing of the share purchase agreement took place after the approval of the Greek Court of Auditors, while the revised concession agreement between the Greek State and HPA S.A. will soon be ratified by the Hellenic Parliament.