APM Terminals 'buys Georgia port from Rakia'
Tbilisi, April 4, 2011
The United Arab Emirates' Rakia has sold control of the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti to APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P Moller-Maersk, a Georgian official said on Monday.
"APM Terminals became a major investor in Poti port," Georgy Meladze, the head of the parliamentary committee for economy, told independent Rustavi-2 TV company.
"The company will invest $65 million into reconstruction of terminals in the port and development of its infrastructure," he said.
"It's one of the biggest deals between private investors in Georgia," he said, adding that details would be announced later.
Rakia and APM Terminals made no comment. A senior government official told Reuters on Friday talks between the parties might be concluded "within the coming days."
He said that the Georgian government was involved in talks as it holds a veto right over the deal. Government sources told Reuters Rakia could sell an 80 percent stake.
APM Terminals does not currently have a Black Sea port. Its terminal nearest to Georgia is in Italy.
Rakia bought Poti port and 300 hectares of land in 2008 to develop a free industrial zone. It initially acquired a 51 percent stake for $90 million in 2008 and bought the remaining 49 percent for $65 million in 2009.
Rakia said last year it was planning an initial public offering for Poti in 2011. - Reuters