The three Canadian and Australian investment funds that control container port operator Global Container Terminals (GCT) plan to divest their assets in New York-Newark, the largest container gateway on the US East Coast.
According to recent media reports, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, IFM Investors and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation are believed to have drawn up a list of potential buyers for the GCT New York terminal and the GCT Bayonne terminal.
The facilities are two of the five large container terminals in the twin port of New York-Newark and, in particular, CGT Bayonne is one of the most modern terminals in the region and is equipped to handle large container ships.
While the list of buyers has not been fully disclosed, media reports suggest port operators Port America, Carrix, Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) and German container line Hapag-Lloyd are lining up to make the acquisition. .
The two terminals of GCT could reach USD 3,000 million, according to informants quoted in the media. This high valuation reflects the strategic value of port infrastructure, especially at a time when the capacity of container terminals turned out to be a major bottleneck for world trade.
So far it is not clear whether there is a clear candidate for the planned acquisition or not.
As for the four known candidates, Ports America is controlled by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Carrix, which already owns terminal operator SSA Marine, is controlled by asset managers Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.
Meanwhile, TIL is majority owned by MSC, which has a 60% stake, while the rest is controlled by institutional investors such as Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Singapore’s public wealth fund GIC.
Hapag-Lloyd is a publicly traded shipping line with significant stakes held by the German city-state of Hamburg, logistics tycoon Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Chilean line CSAV owned by Luksic, and several Arab sovereign wealth funds, which they obtained their shares through Hapag. -The merger of Lloyd’s with the UASC.
With a volume of 8.99 Mteu in 2021, New-York-Newark is the third largest port in the US after Los Angeles and Long Beach and clear number two when the twin ports of California are counted as one. US East Coast, well ahead of Savannah (5.61 Mteu).
GCT currently controls four container terminals in the US and Canada. In addition to the two in the New York area, it operates two piers in Greater Vancouver on Canada’s Pacific coast. This includes GCT Vanterm in the port city of Vancouver and GCT Delta, a satellite terminal south of Vancouver.