Adding Creuers to its portfolio, Global Ports Holding becomes the Largest Cruise Port Operator WorldwideGlobal Ports Holding (GPH) completed the remaining share transfer of Creuers Del Port De Barcelona S.A. (Creuers) by increasing its stake in Barcelona Port Investments (BPI) in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. As such, GPH’s shares in Creuers increased to an effective 62%, making GPH the majority shareholder in the entity. GPH completed the acquisition of the 62% stake for a total consideration of Euro54,048,500. The long-term project financing to acquire Creuers shares has been provided by three of the largest banks in Spain, which are Banco Santander, S.A, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. ("BBVA") CaixaBank, S.A and Holland’s Demir- Halk Bank (Nederland) N.V (DHB) and BBVA, the leading arranger in the consortium.
BPI holds a 100% interest in Creuers which in turn holds 27-year port operation rights for four cruise terminals at the Barcelona Cruise Port and an annual operating license contract for the fifth cruise terminal, as well as 80% interest in the port operating rights for the Malaga Cruise Port and 40% interest in the Singapore Cruise Port. Comprised of five cruise terminals, the Barcelona Cruise Port is the largest passenger ports in the Mediterranean in terms of passenger arrivals and cruise calls. With an annual throughput of 2.7 million passengers, Creuers recorded an EBITDA of USD18.5mn in 2013.
Controling almost 50% of Turkey’s total cruise passengers, Global Ports Holding serves more than 850,000 cruise passengers per annum in Turkey. In the first half of 2014, GPH reported an EBITDA of TL46.5mn, representing a 64% improvement from the same period last year. At the end of 2014, GPH’s consolidated EBITDA is expected to top USD80mn on a full year proforma basis.
Mr. Narin, the CEO of GPH, indicated that the cruise industry entered a new era with the addition of the controlling stake of the Port of Barcelona into the GPH portfolio. Having focused on organic growth and consolidation of its existing Turkish ports over the past years, GPH was ready to press the button to become one of the leading commercial port operators regionally and the number one cruise operator globally. In December 2013, GPH finalized the acquisition of 62% of the Port of Bar in Montenegro and recently took over the operations of the cruise terminal in Lisbon, Portugal as a majority leader of a consortium. Today, GPH stands proud to be the only Turkish operator of international ports, and with the latest addition of the Ports of Barcelona, Malaga and Singapore, commands a total passenger traffic of GPH of 4.2mn per annum.