On 4 July 2016, China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING” or “the Group”) and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) signed a Letter in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, confirming that the conditions defined in the previously signed Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) have been fulfilled. It marks a decisive achievement for COSCO SHIPPING’s acquisition of 67% equities of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA).
Mr. Wan Min, Director and President of COSCO SHIPPING, and Stergios Pitsiorlas, Chairman of the HRADF, signed the Confirmation Letter, in the presence of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of the Hellenic Republic.
On 8 April 2016, COSCO SHIPPING signed the Share Purchase Agreement and Shareholders Agreement with HRADF. On 10 June 2016, the Piraeus Port Authority held an Extraordinary General Meeting, in which the Board of Directors approved the SPA Agreement, and on 22 June 2016, the Hellenic Competition Committee gave its approval for the Transaction as falling within the scope of the Greek law on merger control. The Greek parliament ratified the landmark concession agreement on 30 June 2016 by an overwhelming majority, which concluded the series of necessary approvals before COSCO SHIPPING completes the transaction. Today’s signing ceremony will further deepen the bilateral economic and trade exchanges between the two countries, and promote the development of Sino-Hellenic relations.
On the same day, the China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum was also held at the Golden Hall in the Great Hall of the People. Wan Min attended the forum and delivered a key note speech. He noted that the Piraeus project has been managed smoothly. It acts as a role model for China-Greece cooperation, and has great importance for promoting the friendship and development of the two countries. COSCO SHIPPING will leverage on Piraeus’ unparalleled geographic location, make full use of the strategic opportunities provided by the Belt and Road initiative and close Sino-Hellenic relations, enhance infrastructure investments, and optimize business units through consolidation, in order to increase the operating capability of Port of Piraeus and turn it into the largest container transshipment port in the Mediterranean, a key port for sea-land intermodal transportation, an international logistics center as well as the southern gate to Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
COSCO SHIPPING has been making high-quality investments in the port since 2009. Over the last few years, COSCO SHIPPING has successfully enhanced the competitiveness and significance of Piraeus in the international shipping market, and contributed actively to local economic development. Piraeus has now become a modern large-scale container terminal with leading technology, the fastest growing port in terms of port throughput among the Top 100 container ports in the world, and an important hub for many international container lines in the East Mediterranean area. The throughput of Port of Piraeus rose from 880,000 TEU in 2010 to 3,360,000 TEU in 2015, and the ranking of its throughput also rose significantly from 93rd to 39th. Piraeus Container Terminal Co., Ltd has helped improve the port’s infrastructure, created over 1,200 job opportunities, and helped increase Greece’s revenue, hence boosting the growth of local economy.