Papo Maritime acquires Eilat Port for NIS 120m

Papo Maritime, owned by the Nakash brothers, was the sole bidder in the tender.

Papo Maritime Ltd., owned by the Nakash brothers, will obtain the tenders committee approval for the acquisition of Eilat Port Company Ltd. for NIS 120 million. The government will continue to own the assets of the port itself through state-owned Israel Ports Development & Assets Company Ltd., while Papo Maritime owns the port's operations.

The tender committee, chaired by acting Government Companies Authority director general Ronny Friedman, convened today to approve in principle the agreement with Papo Maritime, the sole remaining bidder in the tender for Eilat Port Company. Papo Maritime offered NIS 100 million for full-ownership of the port company in the auction on September 11. In subsequent negotiations, Papo Maritime upped its offer to NIS 105 million, and agreed to grant the state an option on the port's revenue. This option is worth NIS 15 million.

The government published the tender for full-ownership of the Eilat Port Company a year ago. The franchisee will operate the port for 15 years, with an option to extend for ten years. Exercise of the option is subject to meeting trade targets

Taavura Holdings Ltd. subsidiary Maman Cargo Terminals and Handling (TASE: MMAN) and an Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) subsidiary withdrew from the tender, due to concerns that they would be disqualified over worries about over-concentration. Two other bidders, Gold Bond Group Ltd. (TASE:GOLD) and Gadot Chemicals Tankers and Terminals Ltd. did not submit bids after the government set the minimum bid at NIS 100 million.

After the failure of the first auction on July 18, the government decided on a new auction at easier terms that included better incentives for containers.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 6, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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