The German-led joint venture – called South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) – beat out bids from International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and DP World to win the concession agreement. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) asked the bidders to improve their first-round offers in April, and SEGT's proposal came out ahead.
The price of the shares acquisition was $275 million, and the contract requires a further $215 million investment in the port within the next seven years, along with concession revenues. In total, the agency estimates that the agreement is worth $1.3 billion.
“The exploitation of the Thessaloniki port along with the positive impact the successful conclusion of the exploitation agreement of Piraeus Port already has, form an axis of growth and development that crosses vertically our country, further enhancing the role of Greece as the European gateway to international companies for trade and cruise," said HRADF chairman Aris Xenofos.
HRADF is tasked with carrying out the privatization of many publicly-owned Greek entities under the terms of the 2015 EU financial bailout. In exchange for $100 billion in EU assistance, Greece promised to set up a $50 billion fund to pay down its debt, recapitalize banks and invest in its economy, which would be funded by selling off state assets. Business lines for auction include the nation's natural gas infrastructure, the national lottery and Athens' water supply, among other marquee properties.
HRADF’s asset list also includes 10 smaller port authorities – Volos, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Patra, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Elefsina, Lavrion, Corfu and Kavala – along with the completed sales at Thessaloniki and Piraeus. Despite protracted union opposition and multiple labor actions, HRADF sold a concession for Piraeus to China COSCO in 2016.