Proposed concession deal between the Port Authority of Thessalonica and Alapis fell through.
In a negative turn of events, the proposed concession deal between the Port Authority of Thessalonica, Hellas" second largest port, based in the north part of the country, and the concession of Hutchison Port Holdings and Alapis fell through. Hutchison and its partner had offered 419 million euros, almost three times the amount of their competing bidders, Cosco Pacific Singapore and Dubai Ports World, who had offered only 68 million euros. The above figure was estimated in current rates, since the offer was extended to over 1 billion euros over the 35-year period that the concession would last. The first ?clouds? appeared at the beginning of December, when Hutchison tried to receive further benefits as part of the deal, in an effort to limit its bank exposure, in terms of bank guarantees it had to provide.
The recent credit crisis which spurred an economic crisis proved a stronger than anticipated ?opponent?, which in effect didn"t allow Hutchison to raise the funds necessary to achieve a deal. As a result, the concession notified yesterday the port authority that it withdrew its interest from assuming control of the port"s container handling operations. For the moment, all options are open and nothing can be predicted. A possible scenario could see the second highest bidder, which was Cosco, emerging as the next negotiator, but for that to happen, the Chinese conglomerate, which recently signed the deal for Piraeus Port, must express its interest, something which is uncertain.