Global Ports Holding increases its shareholding in Valletta Cruise Port from 10.14% to 55.60%...
Global Ports Holding (GPH), an 89.16% subsidiary of Global Investment Holdings, previously announced that it had acquired indirect 10.14% shares in Valletta Cruise Port (VCP), a Maltese company which is engaged in cruise port operations and rent-out of office and retail areas in Malta; and that it was awaiting the completion of the preconditions regarding indirect purchases of 12.32% and 33.14%.
GPH stated that the preconditions regarding the aforementioned indirect purchases of 12.32% and 33.14% of VCP shares have been completed, and that the shares have been transferred. Accordingly, together with the previously announced 10.14% shares, all share transfers have been completed, thus giving GPH 55.60% control of VCP shares.
GPH declares that it continues talks with VCP’s remaining existing shareholders to increase its shareholding in VCP, and that the process regarding the planned share transfers will continue for a while. Other details regarding the transaction will be announced once the share transfer negotiations with VCP’s other shareholders are completed; considering the possible interruption of ongoing discussions.
The Company took over the cruise and ferry terminal operations in Valletta, Malta in 2002 in connection with a 65-year concession agreement which was awarded as a result of an international tender issued by the Government of Malta. The concession also includes a 65-year lease of 48,000 square meters of land and buildings adjacent to the quays. VCP, through its 90% subsidiary Travel Shopping Ltd. also runs duty-free operations in the port. Targeting a total passenger number of around 650,000 in 2015, the Company envisages to increase its home-porting activities parallel to the expected increase in the total number of passengers.
Located in Mid-Mediterranean, Malta has an important upside potential in the cruise sector, with its unique position for West-Med itineraries departing from Barcelona and Civitavecchia, as well as for East-Med itineraries departing from Istanbul and Piraeus. Hence, the total number of passengers is expected to reach 750,000 in 2016. The Company, which serves industry players such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC, Celebrity, TUI Cruises, and Costa, targets to increase its home-porting activities up from around 20% currently. In addition, the cruise market in Malta is expected to grow faster than the overall market in the medium term, with the potential addition of North-African destinations back to itineraries.
In addition to the expected increase in the cruise activities, the Company is also currently assessing a second phase investment in the development of office and retail areas, totaling 12,000 sqm within the concession territory.
Saygın Narin, the CEO of GPH stated: “The addition of VCP to our growing portfolio excites us, as Malta’s strategic location further enhances GPH’s strong position in the Mediterranean. In line with our robust growth strategy, we are pleased to become the majority shareholder by increasing our shareholding in VCP to 55.60%. Due to its unique location, Malta’s potential growth is higher than the overall cruise market. Meanwhile, VCP has the ability to generate over US$10mn of revenues and around US$5mn of EBITDA annually, which should be enhanced in line with its potential, contributing to our financial performance in the coming periods”. Arpak Demircan, Deputy CEO of GPH said “With the two consecutive acquisitions of Malta and Dubrovnik (to be finalized), GPH will be operating 10 ports in 7 different countries and expects to cater to c.5mn total passengers by 2015 year-end, which corresponds to a notable c.19% market share in the Mediterranean”.