Francois Delenclos: “Our interest has been consistent throughout the economic and political cycles of the country”
APM Terminals has confirmed that it is interested in buying up the Greek ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki if they are selected for privatisation following the country’s latest EU bailout.
Francois Delenclos, Vice President of Business Development for APM Terminals, told Port Strategy: “Yes we are interested in the Greek ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki and are pursuing them as part of our growth plans. Our interest has been consistent throughout the economic and political cycles of the country.”
He said that the operator remains interested in showing Greek leaders its expertise in the investment, planning, building, modernising and operating of ports.
“We have a lot of experience in all markets and believe a competitive port system is integral to Greece’s future success,” Mr Delenclos added.
Piraeus has been named as a target for privatisation in the country’s cash-for-reform austerity measures being imposed by international creditors.
At the moment, it is majority state-owned with China’s Cosco operating two of the port’s cargo piers.
But the sale of a majority stake in the port was originally earmarked for privatisation under condition of the previous two EU bailouts.
Greek’s latest bailout of €86bn, its third in five years, once again comes with similar ‘conditions’ which have been one of the main sticking points in resolving the crisis.
These conditions include the set-up of a fund in which it the country will need to put €50bn of state-owned assets. They will eventually will be privatised to pay down debt, which is not proving popular with anti-austerity protesters.